England not a top-four team despite finishing fourth - Gareth Southgate

Eden Hazard (C) of Belgium scores the 2-0 against England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during the FIFA World Cup 2018 third place soccer match between Belgium and England in St.Petersburg, Russia, 14 July 2018.

Belgium won 1-0 - through Adnan Januzaj's goal - and were rewarded with games against Japan, Brazil and France while England played Colombia, Sweden and Croatia but the end result for both sides was the same - semi-final elimination. Goals from Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard were the difference in the end on paper but did not fully reflect the gulf in class between the two sides.

"We'll want to give a performance of huge pride, there's no question about that", said Southgate. It would also see them equal the recent feat of their women's team, who earned bronze at the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015.

The goal was fastest ever scored by Belgium in its World Cup history.

England is the current world champion at the Under-20 and Under-17 levels, and the challenge now will be to find playing time for those players at the club level, whether it's in the Premier League or in other leagues like Germany's Bundesliga.

Kompany too was in dominant form in the Red Devils' defence and kept England skipper Harry Kane - looking to add to his tally of six goals at Russian Federation 2018 - largely quiet all afternoon.

Still, with de Bruyne's vision, England were always a pass away from being opened up and Lukaku's second clear chance came just before his substitution when again his touch was heavy.

The third-place match was dropped from the European championship by UEFA following the 1980 tournament but has remained part of the World Cup calendar despite complaints. Belgium's Romelu Lukaku is two goals behind Kane, but whether Belgium Manager Robert Martinez will choose to start Lukaku in the consolation game is unclear. Best goalkeeper during the World Cup in this writer's opinion.

"I can't fault the lads, we gave everything", said England captain Harry Kane.

"Eventually they got a foothold in the game, the first chance fell to (Harry) Kane after 23 minutes".

Belgium, meanwhile, have also named a very strong team for their final game of the 2018 World Cup.

Great cross for the opener and had looked threatening down the left, but had to go off just before half-time with a muscle injury.

It was an anticlimactic way for both these teams - who have given their fans some thrilling moments in Russian Federation - to end the World Cup but Belgium leave with a deserved piece of history. "To be able to finish third, the best finish for the Belgian national team, would be an achievement we salute more than individual awards".

While the third-place playoff has come in for plenty of criticism, there's not exactly nothing to play for as Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku will view the game as a personal battle for the Golden Boot. While Loftus-Cheek was decent, Delph did nothing of note and Dier struggled in midfield against Tielemans and Kevin De Bruyne.

MF Eric Dier, 7 - Looked nearly certain to be overwhelmed in midfield as Belgium dominated the first half, and was not ambitious enough with his passing.


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