England beaten by Belgium and will face Colombia in last 16 of World Cup



Posted Friday, June 29, 2018 by PA

England beaten by Belgium and will face Colombia in last 16 of World Cup

Adnan Januzaj’s stunning goal secured a much-changed Belgium side a 1-0 win over England’s second string on Thursday evening and meant Gareth Southgate’s men will face Colombia in the last 16 of the World Cup.

What looked like being one of the ties of the group stage instead became a rather strange encounter given the talk about the most favourable knockout route, including suggestions that finishing runners-up may be preferable.

Southgate dismissed that before seeing his team suffer their first defeat in a year, with Januzaj’s superb effort six minutes into the second half securing a narrow victory which earned Belgium top spot in Group G and a last-16 tie against Japan.

The Three Lions will be hoping to win their first knockout match since 2006 in Moscow next Tuesday, when widespread changes are again on the cards after their squad players struggled against Roberto Martinez’s reserves.

Belgium made nine changes and England eight for the pool decider in Kaliningrad, where the teams were booed off after a tepid first half in which Gary Cahill and Trent Alexander-Arnold both cleared off the line.

Southgate’s men would have progressed as group winners through fair play had the scores remained level, but former Manchester United man Januzaj’s moment of magic turned the game in Belgium’s favour.

Marcus Rashford and substitute Danny Welbeck went closest to an equaliser on a night when Belgium’s second ever win in this fixture left England plotting their route to Moscow.

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