1.England were beaten 2-1 by Belgium in the third-place playoff, making it 3 defeats for the Three Lions at the World Cup in Russia.
2.After all that promise and talk of ‘It’s Coming Home’, England’s World Cup outing looks quite dismal when you consider the fact that they lost 3 of their 7 matches. Having beaten minnows Tunisia and Panama, they lost their final group game versus Belgium.
Knockout round victories against Colombia and Sweden got their fans to start believing, but defeat in the semifinal to Croatia followed by this result against Belgium broke their bubble.
3.9 of the 12 English goals at the World Cup had come from set pieces. 2 out of their 3 goals from open play had come in the 6-0 win over Panama.
In other words, England struggled for rhythm throughout the tournament. Their weaknesses were masked by the fact that they advanced further than anyone expected them to.
4.They also did not have to face any of Germany, Argentina, Uruguay, Portugal, France or Brazil. They would only meet these teams in the final which is to say they had the easy set of knockout matches.
5.Belgium meanwhile topped their group by winning all their matches. They knocked Japan and Brazil out before running out of luck against France in the semifinal, which they lost 1-0 only because of one defensive lapse.
6.Thomas Meunier had missed the match against France due to a suspension. He proved how crucial his absence was because it was he who opened the scoring for Belgium.
The goal meant that Belgium now have 10 different scorers at the 2018 World Cup, a complete all-around performance.
7.In an otherwise uneventful encounter which was sloppily one-sided, Eden Hazard scored his third goal at the 2018 World Cup to give Belgium the 2-0 win.
Third place marks Belgium’s best-ever finish at the World Cup.