Watch the highlights as Belgium beats England 2-0 to win third place at the World Cup – it's best finish ever at the tournament.

By Luis Miguel Echegaray
July 14, 2018

Thanks to goals from Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard, Belgium defeated England 2-0 at Saint Petersburg's Krestovsky Stadium, securing third place at the 2018 World Cup and the nation's best finish in the tournament.

It was an impressive display from Roberto Martinez's side, which dominated the match against an England side that hadn't quite gotten over the semifinal loss against Croatia earlier in the week.   

The first few minutes saw both teams playing a high line, pressuring their opponents with an overloaded midfield. Kevin De Bruyne started the match as Romelu Lukaku's strike partner. It didn't take too long for the Red Devils to get started and in the fourth minute, Thomas Meunier, who was suspended for the semifinal, picked up a great ball from Nacer Chadli and made it 1-0. 

The goal essentially told the story of the first 15 minutes, as Belgium was dominant in the final third. Eden Hazard mazy runs, De Bruyne's vision and Lukaku's movement, were just too much for the Three Lions in the early stages. 

In the 16th minute, the Manchester connection was threatening once again as De Bruyne found Lukaku with a lovely ball inside the box, but Jordan Pickford, who has had a magnificent tournament, was quick enough to scoop up the intended pass. 

England's Ruben Loftus-Cheek made the most of his start, as his inventive run in the box nearly created a great chance for England to equalize, but in the end, it was easy for Thibaut Courtois to reclaim the ball. In the 23rd minute, Harry Kane had a good opportunity to make it 1-1 and score his seventh goal of the tournament as Raheem Sterling found him in the box, but the Tottenham Hotspur striker couldn't quite connect.  

It was clear Belgium had the upper hand, especially on the counter as every time England lost possession in its opponent's half, Martinez's squad quickly jumped in transition and forced another attempt inside England's box. Luckily for the Three Lions, their defenders were alert enough to stop it. But it was obvious that a second goal for Belgium was in the horizon.

It seemed as if what Gareth Southgate said to the players at halftime registered, as they approached the second half with a more aggressive mindset with Loftus-Cheek threatening from the right-hand side. De Bruyne threatened with his vision once again, as a beautiful ball nutmegged John Stones, finding Lukaku. But again, Pickford just about saw it coming.   

In the 69th minute, Eric Dier had a golden opportunity as he found himself alone against Courtois. His chip beat the keeper, and looked certain to go in, but a fantastic clearance from his Tottenham teammate, Toby Alderweireld, kept it 1-0.

In the 79th minute, Meunier could have scored his brace thanks to a fantastic first-time volley, but Pickford was able to pick up the ball. But it only took a few minutes later for Belgium to double its lead as another great ball from De Bruyne found Hazard, who composed himself and scored his third goal of the tournament.   


Here were the lineups for both teams:


Here are the rosters for both sides:

BELGIUM

Goalkeepers: Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg), Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool)

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona)

Midfielders: Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang), Nacer Chadli (West Brom), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Mousa Dembele (Tottenham), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Thomas Meunier (Paris Saint-Germain), Youri Tielemans (Monaco), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian)

Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Borussia Dortmund), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Dries Mertens (Napoli)

Manager: Roberto Martinez

ENGLAND

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley)

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Ashley Young (Manchester United), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), John Stones (Manchester City), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jones (Manchester United)

Midfielders: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)

Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)

Manager: Gareth Southgate

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