England vs Belgium, FIFA World Cup 2018 Highlights - As It Happened
News18.com | June 29, 2018, 1:41 AM IST
Latest Update: Adnan Januzaj 50th minute strike is the difference between the two teams at the moment.
England and Belgium battle it out for top spot in their group on Thursday as the remaining teams at the World Cup digest Germany's astonishing exit from the tournament in Russia. Both sides -- packed with Premier League talent -- have sailed through Group G, winning their two games and are now in the curious situation of weighing up whether they even want to top the section. Their battle in Kaliningrad follows the dramatic exit of Joachim Loew's 2014 winners, who finished rock bottom of their group after a 2-0 defeat to South Korea, the final humiliation after a campaign that never caught fire. Loew, who led his side to glory against Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil, refused to be drawn on his future in the immediate aftermath of Wednesday's result. Despite a huge scare for Lionel Messi's Argentina, who needed a late goal from Marcos Rojo to edge through to the knockout phase on Tuesday, all of the tournament's remaining big guns are through to the last 16 in Russia. There has even been some talk that England might have an easier route at the World Cup if they lose in Kaliningrad. But coach Gareth Southgate said his team are focused on winning, not on plotting a particular route through the knockout stages. "We need to keep winning football matches and we want to breed a mentality that everybody in our squad wants to constantly win," said the manager, who has created a relaxed atmosphere for his young charges. "We've not won a knockout game since 2006. Why we would be starting to plot which would be a better venue for our semi-final is beyond me really." England impressed in their opening two World Cup games, beating Tunisia 2-1 in Volgograd and thumping Panama 6-1 in Nizhny Novgorod. But in Belgium they face the world's third-ranked side, and a squad loaded with world-class talent such as Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne. Captain Harry Kane is the top goalscorer at the World Cup with five goals so far and the Tottenham talisman is likely to start against Belgium.
Jun 29, 2018 1:21 am (IST)
That's it then, Januzaj's goal is enough to decide the fate of the game no team wanted to win. Belgium get three points though and go into the Last 16 with an unbeaten record. Belgium will now take on Japan meanwhile England will face Colombia in the Round-of-16!
Jun 29, 2018 1:18 am (IST)
We have a goalmouth scramble near the English goal here, neither Batshuayi nor Fellaini getting a decisive touch here before referee blows for a foul..
Jun 29, 2018 1:17 am (IST)
Mertens comes on in place of Januzaj and he almost gives the lead to Belgium but Pickford does well to get it away from goal. 90 minutes up here and it is still 1-0 to Belgium. 3 minutes of added time left here
Jun 29, 2018 1:11 am (IST)
Fellaini with a great block there to deny Welbeck, who had gotten onto a loose ball from the corner to get his shot away. Man United fielder gets his foot down in time and luckily for him the ball goes away from the goal. 1-0 as we enter the last 7 minutes here
Jun 29, 2018 1:06 am (IST)
Antoher attacking substituiton from Gareth Southgate here, he seems to be really testing his guns out here as Danny Welbeck comes on in place of Alexandre-Arnold. 79 minutes gone here and it is still 1-0 to Belgium
Jun 29, 2018 1:01 am (IST)
Change for Belgium and its Vincent Kompany who is coming on to a huge round of applause from the Belgian fans, with the defender coming back from injury. Belgium would like to see him get some game time before the knockouts! 1-0 to them with 75 minutes gone
Jun 29, 2018 12:54 am (IST)
What a chance, Rashford misses a one on one with the keeper. He was through on goal after Vardy found him with a wonderful through ball, but Courtois does well to make himself big and get a touch on the ball which sends it wide. Still 1-0 here with 67 minutes gone
Jun 29, 2018 12:50 am (IST)
England certainly trying a bit harder now but they can't seem to be getting the ball as much as they would have liked, they are still to get a shot on target here against Belgium!
The goal seems to have woken the England bench up and we might soon see star striker Harry Kane in action. Belgium though now look more assured on the ball here.
Jun 29, 2018 12:38 am (IST)
GOAL! We have out first goal of the evening and Belgium have been the better team, Januzaj now making it count, cutting inside to his favoured left-foot before curling in a superb shot into the top corner. Pickford with no chance there. Januzaj with his first goal for Belgium and they lead 1-0 here in the 50th minute!
Jun 29, 2018 12:36 am (IST)
Rashford with a big chance for England, quick throw by Rose and Vardy does well to find Rashford who looks to bend one in the bottom corner but his shot goes way wide. England still to have a shot on target here, still 0-0 with 49 minutes gone
Jun 29, 2018 12:31 am (IST)
So, both teams are coming out for the second half now and Harry Maguire is coming on for England in place of John Stones..
Jun 29, 2018 12:15 am (IST)
Great clearance by Boyata as Delph looked to sneak in on goal there, also the last action of the half. Its 0-0 at half-time.
Jun 29, 2018 12:14 am (IST)
England keeping more possession now, the crowd is now jeering both the teams! 44 minutes gone here and it is still 0-0.
Meanwhile, we do have some news from the other game where Panama have taken the lead against Tunisia..
Jun 29, 2018 12:03 am (IST)
Dendoncker goes into the referee's book now for a rash foul on Rose, Belgium's yellow card count is also up to 5, England meanwhile are on 2. If this match ends in a draw then that is what will decide the fate of both teams here!
Jun 29, 2018 12:01 am (IST)
Thirty minutes gone here and this match has a goalless draw written all over it unless we see some piece of magic from anyone!
Jun 28, 2018 11:56 pm (IST)
Belgium keeping more of the possession now, nothing dangerous though for England as the Red Devils lack penetration. 25 minutes gone and it is still 0-0..
Jun 28, 2018 11:49 pm (IST)
Both teams seem to be in no real hurry to push the tempo here..They are happy to sit back and let the other team dictate terms, England slightly have the upper hand but Belgium have had the best chance of the game so far! 20 minutes gone and it is still 0-0
Jun 28, 2018 11:44 pm (IST)
Teenager Alexandre Arnold with a super ball in to Jamie Vardy who heads it off target, will be slightly disappointed with that effort.
Jun 28, 2018 11:40 pm (IST)
Pickford seems to be a bundle of nervous here, Januzaj with some trickery on the left flank and puts the ball in, Fellaini gets his head to it but Batshuayi looks to poke it in as Pickford makes a mess there. 10 minutes gone and it is still 0-0.
Jun 28, 2018 11:37 pm (IST)
Tielemans with a shot from 30 yards out and that almost catches Pickford out, England keeper just managing to get a hand onto that one to palm it away..
Jun 28, 2018 11:35 pm (IST)
England making the more positive start here so far, nothing threatening though from both teams yet. 5 minutes gone and it is 0-0
Jun 28, 2018 11:31 pm (IST)
England get us underway here..another interesting fact today, 15 of the 22 players starting today play in the English Premier League!
Jun 28, 2018 11:27 pm (IST)
The anthems are done and the teams are set! Hopefully we are in for a cracker here!
Jun 28, 2018 11:23 pm (IST)
Both sets of players are in the tunnel now and we are just minutes away from live action now..Eric Dier will be leading the England team meanwhile Thibaut Courtois will lead the Belgian team out on the field
Jun 28, 2018 11:13 pm (IST)
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Alexandre-Arnold will be making his World Cup debut today for England, making him the 10th youngest player to play for Three Lions in a World Cup. Michael Owen still holds the record at 18 years and 183 days
Jun 28, 2018 11:05 pm (IST)
These players have already collected a yellow card at Russia 2018:
England: Loftus-Cheek, Walker
Belgium: De Bruyne, Meunier, Vertonghen
And will miss the round of 16 game if booked today. Of these five, only Ruben Loftus-Cheek starts today's match.
England defender John Stones scores against Panama (Image: AP)
But Southgate did concede he would probably make some changes for a clash that neither side needs to win. Opposite number Roberto Martinez is expected to make wholesale changes to his team, with Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku almost certain to miss out after picking up an ankle knock in Belgium's 5-2 win over Tunisia. Unlike Southgate, the former Everton and Wigan manager said he was approaching Thursday's game with one eye firmly on the knockout rounds. "We want to perform well but I think the priority is not to win," he said. "That's the reality. We wanted to qualify, we've done that. There are players who have been in very demanding games so it's very important for us to protect and give every player the best opportunity to be in the best condition in the knockout games."