AVA- Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard scored in the fourth and 82nd minutes, respectively, of the game in Saint Petersburg, Russia, to give the Belgians a much-anticipated victory and a third place in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The result improved Belgium’s best performance record in the top international football event as they had last left the World Cup on fourth place in 1986.
Belgium dominated the first half against an England that had made five changes to the team that lost the semi-final to Croatia. Coach Gareth Southgate’s changes in the break gave England a better control in the second half but nothing changed on the score line.
The tournament's top scorer and England captain Harry Kane failed to add to his tally of six goals as a solid Belgian defense line successfully smothered chances by the seemingly tired English players.
Besides securing the third place, Belgium finished the World Cup with another special record to remember. Ten members of the star-studded squad managed to score during the tournament, putting the Belgians on par with France in 1982 and Italy in 2006.
Belgium’s Spanish coach Roberto Martinez hailed the sense of unity and togetherness in his team, saying it was the key to Belgium’s success in the World Cup.
“What we have seen in this World Cup is that the players did not want to rely on talent anymore, they wanted to rely on working as a team, becoming a group of players that would do anything to achieve results,” said Martinez, adding, “It’s all about that achievement. I think these players deserve that.”
Sunday 15 July 2018 08:28