Eden Hazard hints at Chelsea exit after Belgium beat England

Sunday, 15 Jul, 2018

Belgium put two unanswered goals past England in the World Cup's third-place game at Krestovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg on Saturday to achieve its best-ever finish at World Cup level.

Belgium fell to France 1-0 in the other semifinal, but still would notch their best finish at a World Cup with a win. Goals from Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard were the difference in the end on paper but did not fully reflect the gulf in class between the two sides.

In fact, this new-found sense of humility, openness and professionalism has left its mark on Eamon Dunphy because as we've frequently seen, the pundit has been something of a cheerleader for the English team throughout their campaign in Russian Federation.

Belgium (3-4-3): Thibaut Courtois; Toby Alderweireld, Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen; Thomas Meunier, Axel Witsel, Youri Tielemans, Nacer Chadli; Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard (capt).

And credit to Belgium because their counter-attacking was cut-throat, Hazard's goal a fine example of their ability on the break, but they didn't require much plotting as England just presented space and their neck.

Romelu Lukaku couldn't add to his four goals for Belgium and was substituted shortly after misjudging a through ball by De Bruyne.

The FIFA World Cup 2018 3rd place match between Belgium vs England 7:30 PM IST.

In the end though, Belgium earned their second win over England in this tournament, bettering the 1-0 victory they recorded in the group stages.

"Today is the seventh game in a short period of time and we've had incredible physical and emotional demands on the least experienced team in the tournament", said Southgate.

Belgium full-back Thomas Meunier, who missed the semifinal against France through suspension, has vowed the Red Devils want to end their campaign in Russian Federation on a high. No longer a dark horse, Roberto Martinez's uber-talented side entered this World Cup as one of the favorites.

"I can't fault the lads, we gave everything", said England captain Harry Kane. England, meanwhile, continued to struggle in attack and provide enough clear chances for striker Harry Kane.

A gut-wrenching 2-1 loss to Croatia after extra-time denied England a shot at a second World Cup triumph, instead setting up a consolation game against familiar foes Belgium. His volley is agonisingly wide of Courtois' goal - it also just evaded the toe of Kane. We have high motivation to perform and finish with a medal at a World Cup, which only one English team have ever done.

They received a let-off when Lukaku failed to control a defence-splitting pass from De Bruyne, allowing Pickford to charge off his line to smother.

England's Harry Kane still leads the World Cup Golden Boot race with six goals, despite not taking a shot on target in his last four hours and 33 minutes on the pitch, Sky Sports reports.

The manager did not deviate from his script preaching realism after his side exceeded expectations through the tournament and stretched a fine Belgium team, particularly in the second half.