The 63rd match of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, the two losing semi-finalists collided for the tag of ‘Best of the Rest’. The match, England vs Belgium, was the for the third-place match and the final scoreline was 2-0.
It was interesting to see that the two teams of the same group had made it so far in the tournament, and now they battled one more time.
Belgium suffered their defeat to France in the first semi-final. The team tried all they could but faltered when it mattered. It seemed that were out of ideas and this stage had brought in its set of nerves which were causing the team to make uncharacteristic mistakes. The Golden Generation of the Red Devils delivered regardless, but the team needs to be even more clinical if they wish to win their first international tournament.
Meanwhile, England suffered a heartbreak against Croatia. After taking the lead, the team lost the game to Croatia, and it was expected that the team might not be able to recover from that loss.
In this game, it was Belgium who came firing out of the blocks and scored early as well. Thomas Meunier turned in a good cross form Nacer Chadli in the fourth minute of the game. England were caught napping, and they paid a heavy price. They tried responding throughout the first half, but they couldn’t get their wits together. Misplaced passes, overshot runs were causing them to lose possession, and more importantly, time. The teams went into the half-time with no change in the scoreline.
If Belgium had maintained this lead, it would be a valuable finish for the country. But, coach Roberto Martinez hasn’t taught his players to sit on their laurels and sent them out to secure an emphatic win.
Most of the second-half was spent between the two teams breaking each other down in the midfield, and near misses from either side. They looked fatigued and almost disinterested. It was the English who looked more out of sorts for some reason, and once again, their lapse was capitalised by Belgium.
Kevin De Bruyne found Eden Hazard in a lot of space in the 82nd minute, and the skipper made no mistakes as he doubled the side’s advantage.
The full-time whistle soon followed suit, and Belgium finished the FIFA World Cup 2018 as the 3rd best team.