Tuesday 17 July 2018

Story of the match: Adnan Januzaj strike gives Belgium victory over England

The result saw Roberto Martinez’s side top Group G.

Adnan Januzaj’s goal gave Belgium a 1-0 win over England (Adam Davy/PA)
Adnan Januzaj’s goal gave Belgium a 1-0 win over England (Adam Davy/PA)

By Press Association Sport staff

England will face Colombia in the last 16 of the World Cup after Adnan Januzaj’s stunning second-half strike earned Belgium a 1-0 win in a low-key Group G decider in Kaliningrad.

Januzaj produced a delicious finish when he fired across Jordan Pickford and into the top corner of the net in the 51st minute.

Marcus Rashford had two good chances to equalise but for the most part it was a lacklustre encounter between two sides who had already qualified for the knockout stages.

Tweet of the match

England star man – Danny Rose

The Tottenham man did not have it all his own way and was deceived by Januzaj in the build-up to the game’s only goal. But otherwise Rose looked solid and inventive and could be the one player above all others who left Gareth Southgate with a selection poser ahead of the clash with Colombia.

All change

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Gareth Southgate made eight changes for the loss to Belgium (Adam Davy/PA)

To win or not to win? The question was rendered somewhat redundant by Colombia’s ascent to the top of Group H earlier in the day. But there was evidently an air of ‘no-lose’ in Kaliningrad as the teams made a combined total of 17 changes. In the end, Belgium showed the required desire – their long-term prospects may be tougher, but they will relish a last-16 clash with Japan.

Food for thought

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Danny Rose put in a fine shift against Belgium (Adam Davy/PA)

Gareth Southgate will certainly bring back the majority of his big guns for the last-16 tie against Colombia, but Rose and Ruben Loftus-Cheek probably did most to give the England boss a selection dilemma. Conversely, Jordan Pickford looked strangely shaky and could prove vulnerable if England are to advance into the later stages.

Player ratings

England: Jordan Pickford 5, Phil Jones 5, John Stones 5, Gary Cahill 6, Trent Alexander-Arnold 6, Danny Rose 7, Eric Dier 5, Fabian Delph 6, Ruben Loftus-Cheek 7, Marcus Rashford 6, Jamie Vardy 6. Subs: Harry Maguire (for Stones, 46 mins) 6, Danny Welbeck (for Alexander-Arnold, 78 mins) 6.

Belgium: Thibaut Courtois 7, Leander Dendoncker 6, Dedryck Boyata 7, Thomas Vermaelen 7, Marouane Fellaini 8, Mousa Dembele 6, Nacer Chadli 6, Thorgan Hazard 7, Adnan Januzaj 8, Youri Tielemans 7, Michy Batshuayi 7. Subs: Vincent Kompany (for Vermaelen, 75 mins) 6, Dries Mertens (for Januzaj, 86 mins) 7.

Up next

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England will face colourful Colombia in the last 16 (Adam Davy/PA)

England v Colombia, World Cup last 16 (Moscow, July 3)

Belgium v Japan, World Cup last 16 (Rostov, July 2)

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