- Belgium beat England, 1-0, to win Group G and officially set the bracket for the knockout stage of the 2018 World Cup.
- While Belgium will undoubtedly enjoy heading into the knockout stage having won every match they have played thus far, the team now finds itself with a much more difficult path to the final.
- England, meanwhile, will have a somewhat easier journey to the final should they get past Colombia in the opening match.
Belgium defeated England, 1-0, to win Group G on the final day of the group stage at the 2018 World Cup.
After a scoreless first half, Belgium struck with the foot of Adnan Januzaj, who took a few nice dribbles in the box before blasting a curler past Jordan Pickford to give Belgium a 1-0 lead.
Januzaj creates some separation and curls it beautifully to put Belgium up 1-0 on England and give them the lead in the Group G standings! pic.twitter.com/TrwUnuxnxD
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 28, 2018
Resting some starters and with possibly more to be gained with a loss in the match than a win, England never attacked with a convincing effort, and the match ended at the 1-0 mark. It was Belgium’s first win over England since 1936, and extends The Red Devils unbeaten streak to 22 matches.
The match was far less dramatic than the day’s earlier games, but the outcome still had consequences that could affect both teams as they look to continue their World Cup runs into the knockout round.
By winning the match and thus the group, Belgium moves to the “side of death” for the knockout round, where four of the top five teams in the world according to FIFA rankings – Brazil, Belgium, Portugal, and Argentina – will all compete for one spot in the final.
Meanwhile, with its loss, England projects to have an easier path to the final, with Spain and Switzerland looking like the biggest threats standing between the Three Lions and a shot at World Cup glory.
Belgium’s win doesn’t come without benefit – the team will matchup against Japan in its first match of the knockout round, while England will be facing off against Colombia, likely a more difficult draw en route in the round of 16.
Still, since both teams share the ultimate goal of winning the World Cup, rather than merely reaching the quarterfinals, it’s hard not to see England’s placement as advantageous.
More World Cup coverage:
- The most mesmerising photos from the World Cup so far
- Lionel Messi made a subtle move before his clutch goal that had people marveling at his otherworldly skill
- Neymar drew a penalty with a ridiculous dive – but the World Cup’s new replay system overturned the call
- Lionel Messi is living through a waking nightmare, and it’s impossible to look away
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