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World Cup 2018: 3 reasons why Belgium beat England 2-0

Sachin Bhat
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
4.92K   //    14 Jul 2018, 23:48 IST

Belgium finish third for the first time in a World Cup
Belgium finish third for the first time in a World Cup

Belgium attained their best ever finish in a World Cup after beating England in the third/fourth playoffs to clinch bronze as Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard got on target.

In an inconsequential game where there's little else aside from pride at the stakes, it unsurprisingly turned out to be a cagey affair with both sides producing the quality moments in only bits and parts.

The Red Devils made the stronger start to the game, however, and took the lead inside five minutes when Nacer Chadli stormed towards the area and laid off for Meunier to tap home the opener.

The Three Lions looked unimaginative and utterly listless for large spells of the game and were caught off-guard again late in the match when Belgium once again broke on the counter with Hazard applying the finishing touches to a well-worked move.

The outcome may have little ramifications in the competition, but it was a consolation for the Belgians nonetheless, who finished third - their best World Cup result.

Here are three reasons why they won tonight:


#1 Belgium caught England off-guard with a rapid start

Meunier broke the deadlock after just 4 minutes
Meunier broke the deadlock after just four minutes

Belgium flew out of the blocks from the opening whistle to make a bright start to the game. They dominated possession and wasted no time to push forward.

Lukaku found Chadli unmarked down the left and released him with a defence-splitting pass as the West Brom star then scythed down the flank before laying off for Meunier to sneak in and tap home the opener.

England's defence was stunned like a deer in the headlights. John Stones and Harry Maguire were well out of position while there was no one to track the PSG defender's run down the right flank.

Belgium refused to rest on their laurels and continued to press high as the front three of Lukaku, De Bruyne and Hazard ran the rings around the Three Lions defence with quick and slick passes.

By the end of half-time, Belgium had already mustered six shots with one of them finding the net.

England was left chasing shadows for a good measure of that period as Belgium's rapid start to the match clearly shackled them and were lucky to head into the break just a goal down.

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Sachin Bhat
ANALYST
Football aficionado. Writing enthusiast. Aspiring journalist.
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