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Belgium tame England in Kaliningrad

Belgium top group G

A superb strike by Adnan Januzaj was enough to give Belgium a win in Kaliningrad. Belgium are rewarded with a second-round tie against Japan. England will now face Colombia in Moscow on Tuesday night.

I didn’t agree with that many changes ahead of kick-off and it was like watching a reserve World Cup game. But they are down the route that was talked about before the game so you could say it’s job done. They are going down the Moscow route and we could have an army of fans there in the next round. Terry Butcher, BBC 5 Live

Both Gareth Southgate and Roberto Martinez made several changes as their respective sides had already booked a place in the last 16. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Danny Rose threatened with forward runs on the wing but both sides went into the break goalless.

Moving forward

Questions will now be of Southgate but England’s defeat must be taken into context. England’s ‘second-string’ didn’t show too much to worry the established starters. Belgium looked content to stand off against England’s low tempo. The Red Devils’ patience paid off on 51 minutes when Jordan Pickford was well beaten by Januzaj’s curling shot.

Harry Kane is a core element of the squad and the World Cup’s leading scorer but the England skipper ‘played the game’ and watched from the sidelines. Jamie Vardy was given the opportunity to lead the England line but he looked lost without the kind of service he is used to. England’s midfield didn’t show enough quality or imagination on the night. Marcus Rashford had an excellent chance to get England back into the game. His one-on-one was saved by Thibaut Courtois. Southgate now has until Tuesday to prepare his side for Colombia who have impressed so far.



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