Belgium beat England 2-0 to take third place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Belgium have now won their first ever World Cup medal in their nation’s history. Belgium’s previous best World Cup finish was a fourth place finish the 1986 World Cup, but now they have a new best and that is thanks to this Belgium team. The game started off with some early action as Belgium scored in the 4th minute through Thomas Meunier. Other than that, nothing much happened in the first half. England did have a chance to score in the 23rd minute but Harry Kane could not connect off the layoff pass from Raheem Sterling. In the 70th minute Eric Dier had an 1v1 opportunity with the keeper; he tried to chip the keeper which was a good attempt and almost finished in the back of the net until his club teammate Toby Alderweireld cleared it off the goal line. It remained 1-0 for Belgium. As the game went on Belgium started to defend a bit more in hopes to keep the 1-0 lead, therefore England started to gain a lot more possession as a result. In the 80th, Belgium countered with Kevin De Bruyne and Dries Mertens with a trailing Meunier. Mertens got into the box and switch the ball to the other side of the box to Meunier who shot it first time in hopes in finding his second goal on the day but was denied by England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who has had a fantastic World Cup. Belgium would soon find the goal which would secure them the win and third place two minutes. Eden Hazard received a timely pass from De Bruyne and Hazard dibbled into the box and shot it near post to give Belgium the 2-0 lead. The game would finish 2-0 for Belgium which gave them the bronze medal at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Belgium beat England twice at this World Cup, 1-0 in the group stage and 2-0 in the third place match. Even though Belgium wanted to be in tomorrow’s finals instead of playing for third place today, they now at least got a World Cup medal. Something they could not say before this World Cup. Belgium now change their focus to the European Championships in 2020, Belgium will definitely be one of the favorites to win it all. Most of Belgium’s players will be entering or be in their prime years in 2020, which is good news for Belgium. England have a young squad and this World Cup was a good experience for them, especially with getting this far. This experience these young players gained this summer will be important for them at both club and international level in the future.
Dino Pavleka: @dino_ATL
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