FIFA World Cup: Januzaj gives Belgium 1-0 win over England and top spot

06/29/2018

KALININGRAD (Russia), June 29: It had been viewed as the game no-one wanted to win but Adnan Januzaj's fine finish early in the second half gave Belgium a 1-0 victory over England to secure top spot in Group G as both sides made wholesale changes to their lineups.

The result means Belgium, who won all three of their group games to finish on nine points, will face Japan in the last 16 while England, who finished second with six, take on Colombia.

All the pre-match talk had been about whether second place might offer an easier path to the semi-finals, given that the group winners could face Brazil in the last eight.

If that was a consideration then Gareth Southgate's England side can take some consolation from the defeat given that it offers a potential quarter-final against Sweden or Switzerland rather than Brazil or Mexico, who could await Belgium.

There is, though, something presumptuous about such talk and Colombia, a team with plenty of talent, certainly won't appreciate being considered part of an 'easier path' to the quarter-finals.

But when Belgium and England next enter the field, in the last 16, the team lineups will bear little resemblance to those fielded on Thursday to complete the group stage.

As expected both managers utilised their squads to the full -- Belgium's Roberto Martinez switching nine players and Southgate bringing in eight from his reserves, a decision he had described as a 'no brainer' in the circumstances.

Belgium created the better openings in a poor first half while England showed greater urgency but a lack of finesse in the final third.

 

 

 


Former Manchester United midfielder Januzaj broke the deadlock with a superb curling effort in the 51st minute and the manner of the goal celebration should have silenced any fears that Martinez's side were not interested in victory.

 

 

 


England then pushed on looking for an equaliser but, without their rested talisman Harry Kane they lacked a cutting edge.

Marcus Rashford had the best chance but his shot was already wide of the target when Thibaut Courtois got his fingertips to the ball.

 

 

 


Belgium came close to a second goal in the final minutes when Jordan Pickford made a fine, diving save to keep out a rasping Dries Mertens effort. TOI

Related News

India pummels New Zealand, retakes top slot in ICC rankings

KOLKATA (INDIA), oct. 3 : India on Monday pulled off a brilliant all-round performance to trounce New Zealand by 178 runs in the second Test in Kolkata to clinch the series with an unassailable 2-0 lead, which also propelled it to the top of the ICC rankings, dethroning arch-rival Pakistan.…

Making decisions and backing them fully is real essence of a leader: Kohli

NEW DELHI, 6 Oct. : Virat Kohli boasts of an impressive record as captain since taking over the reigns of the Indian Test team two years ago and the right-hander feels the essence of being a leader lies in taking bold decisions and backing them to the hilt without thinking…

Kohli and Rahane help India take command

MUMBAI, Oct.9: During India’s pre-match training session on Friday, after facing throwdowns from batting coach Sanjay Bangar, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane were involved in a long chat at the Holkar Stadium. On Saturday, the captain and vice-captain spent even more time together, where it mattered the most. The two…

Ashwin shares his success secret

INDORE (INDIA), Oct. 10: With the kind of form he is in, R. Ashwin’s second five-wicket haul of the series – his 20th of his career – may have been expected by many of Indian cricket’s aficionados. But for the man himself, the effort was “pretty special” because he had to…

India completes 3-0 whitewash against New Zealand

INDORE, Oct. 11: New Zealand crashed to a 321-run defeat against India on Tuesday, slumping to 153 all out on day four of the third Test. Set an improbable 475 runs to win, Ravichandran Ashwin (7-59) took his 21st five-wicket haul in test cricket to run through the Black Caps. After…

Cut all ties with Pak. till terrorism ends: Gambhir

NEW DELHI, Oct. 19: Cricketer Gautam Gambhir on Monday called for a complete freeze on ties with Pakistan till cross-border terrorism ends. “I would not even think of playing cricket with Pakistan. Indian lives are more important than sports,” Gambhir told mediapersons here. Gambhir insisted that every Indian must put himself…

Video

Find Us on Facebook

From Social

Tokyo (Japan), Sept. 13: A new leadership assumed responsibilities at the Non Resident Nepalese Association (NRNA), Japan on Sunday. The new office bearers took oath of office and secrecy after a long fought battle resulting from dissatisfaction from those who…

Lama led officials assume responsibility in NRNA Japan