Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard struck at either end of their match for Third Place with England to secure bronze at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The win is Belgiumâ€™s best-ever performance at the global football finals.
Belgium began superbly. Early pressure quickly turned into an early goal, with Meunier nipping in behind Danny Rose to tuck Nacer Chadli’s cross past Jordan Pickford.
Dominant and lively, they looked set to extend that lead until England regained their composure, dulling the incisive swipes of the Belgians’ passing as the half wore on.
Ultimately, as with the semi-final defeat by Croatia, England need to score more goals from open play re-surfaced.
The Three Lions battled to create chances and the half-time introductions of Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard injected a greater threat going forward, yet near-misses from Harry Maguire, Harry Kane and Eric Dier will be rued.
Eric Dier saw his cute, dinked effort hooked off the line by Toby Alderweireld in their best opportunity of the day, with Hazard sealing bronze on the break. Kevin De Bruyne slipped him in superbly and the final result was never in doubt as the Belgium captain tucked away assuredly.