Belgium vs. England - Football Match Report

England manager Gareth Southgate applauds fans after the World Cup semi-final against Croatia

Image Gareth Southgate says England will play Belgium with pride

England slumped to a 2-0 defeat to Belgium on Saturday, with Hazard playing a starring role to ensure his side's best ever finish at a World Cup.

Beating Belgium on Saturday would give England their best World Cup finish since then, surpassing fourth place in Italy in 1990. The Belgians grabbed an immediate lead through Thomas Meunier who netted the go-ahead goal inside the match's first five minutes, before doubling their lead in the game's final stretch through a late Eden Hazard strike.

Martinez says "We faced eye-to-eye to Brazil".

While Southgate was proud of his young team's achievement, he said they were under no "illusions" about where they stand in world football.

Belgium also squandered a host of gilt-edged chances and though England produced a spirited response after the break, Chelsea star Eden Hazard sealed the victory with a fine 82nd minute effort from De Bruyne's sublime pass.

Chances for Romelu Lukaku and another for Meunier came and went and England looked relieved to hear the half-time whistle, which prevented another Belgium corner.

The set-piece success has been celebrated after nine goals were scored in Russian Federation from deadball situations, but it's masked genuine deficiencies from open play. If the subscription is canceled prior to the expiration of that free week, fans can watch the Belgium vs. England match - and all the following day's World Cup Final - streamed live at no charge. Some cynics expected England to not even get past the group stages of the tournament, but the Three Lions surged through the semi-final, and sadly lost to Croatia 2-1.

And the winning goal would come early.

Belgium, meanwhile, have kept largely with their strongest team as manager Roberto Martinez aims to end the tournament on a high.

This game proved one thing for certain: the World Cup was never coming home.

"This game showed there is still room for improvement", said Kane. So we'll try and get the team that is best able to do the job.

Their best chance in the first half was a strike by Harry Kane that went wide in the 22nd minute.

Just one goal separated each team from their respective opponents, which will hopefully be enough motivation for the two countries to end their tournament campaign on a high note.

Get's through a lot of the dirty work in the centre of the park that gives his more talented team-mates the platform to burst forward and hurt the opposition. Meunier scored and Youri Tielemans dominated the midfield. Harry Kane is on six goals and Romelu Lukaku is on four, but I don't expect either to start so that might be a moot point.

44' - Belgium appear to be trying for one more goal before the half. In the group stage, both teams had already qualified before Belgium's 1-0 win in Kaliningrad. They produce a scintillating counter-attacking move, as De Bruyne releases Hazard, he crosses for Meunier whose first-time shot is brilliantly stopped by Pickford.

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