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Second-String Belgium Secure Top Spot In Group G

2018 World Cup 

Result: England 0-1 Belgium

Date: 28 June 2018

Venue: Kaliningrad Stadium

Belgium finished top of Group G at the 2018 Word Cup as Adnan Januzaj's superb strike secured a 1-0 win over England on Thursday evening.

Both managers opted to rest a number of their stars for the final group match, having made between them no fewer than 17 changes from last time out, with both already secured passage into the round of 16.

The game got off to a lively start, with Belgium's Youri Tieleman forcing Jordan Pickford into a save with a venomous strike from distance, while Michy Batshuayi saw his effort cleared off the line inside the opening 10 minutes.

England, meanwhile, were happy to sit back and allow Belgium to dictate play as they looked to hit on the counter via the pace of Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford.

Unfortunately for the supporters in attendance, that proved to be the trend for most of the half as both nations struggled to carve out clear-cut chances.

The Three Lions showed more attacking intent during the final stages of the first half but they were let down by their final pass, as the sides went into the break scoreless.

England manager Gareth Southgate opted for a change at the start of the second half as John Stones made way for Harry Maguire.

Five minutes into the half, the Red Devils broke the deadlock as Adnan Januzaj did well to create space in the box before sending a fine curling effort past Pickford.

England should have restored parity after 65 minutes as Vardy played Rashford through on goal, but the Manchester United striker saw his effort saved by the fingertips of Thibaut Courtois.

With 15 minutes remaining, Belgium coach Roberto Martinez decided to introduce Vincent Kompany for Thomas Vermaelen, while England threw on Danny Welbeck as they pushed for an equaliser.

The Belgians did have couple chances to extend their lead in the closing stages, but the likes of Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens could not take advantage as the clash ended 1-0.

The result means Belgium finish top of Group G and are rewarded with a last-16 tie against Japan, while England will take on Colombia after going through as runners-up.

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