Belgium pips England to top spot in WCup Group G

Belgium pips England to top spot in WCup Group G

Belgium appeared to be a reluctant victor. The Red Devils are unbeaten in their previous 11 World Cup Group matches. "We want to win".

Former Manchester United player Adnan Januzaj scored the only goal as Belgium completed a hat-trick of wins to top Group G with nine points. But that might not turn out to be the desirable outcome since the victory diverted Belgium onto the tougher potential path to the final.

"From logistics, it was easier to stay in Moscow because the next game would have been in Moscow with an extra day of recovery, but the only thing we are concentrating on is playing Japan", he said.

"Yeah I'm very pleased with that, to score a great goal against a great opponent", Januzaj said in the game's post-match press conference. "But in the past in England I had a lot of criticism and now I wanted to show the people that I am here, so you know I am very happy with that". Each manager exploited the luxury of resting key players for this game and despite the controversy it may generate, both Roberto Martinez and Gareth Southgate arguably have to play the long game in this World Cup.

Tunisia bowed out of the World Cup with a 2-1 win against Panama in the final Group G game, coming from behind to claim victory. Of course, given how the smaller teams have performed with South Korea beating Germany and Iceland holding Argentina, one shouldn't get too excited of facing a "weaker team".

'When you're a leader and a manager, you have got to make decisions that are right for your group and are right for the primary objective, ' the Three Lions boss said. "Sometimes those decisions will be criticized. but you have to think about the bigger picture".

Were they to make it all the way through to the final, captain Harry Kane and his teammates would have four more matches to play. The leading scorer in Russian Federation with five goals watched the match from the bench.

Finding space in the box, the 23-year-old cut in and fired the ball past England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford with his left boot. The Chelsea striker poked it towards goal but Gary Cahill was there to clear it off the line.

On the other end, Kane's replacement up front for England, Jamie Vardy, tried his luck with a header.

Neither team will ever publicly state the desire to lose or intentionally commit fouls to get more yellow cards, but both countries will not be unhappy if they can avoid the top place in pool G. Picking up possession on the edge of the penalty area, he shifted the ball around Danny Rose and curled it into the corner of the net in the 51st minute.

Manchester United defender Jones said: "It's nearly like a Premier League match, barring a few players".

In 2013, then-England manager Roy Hodgson announced his staff were monitoring the progress of Januzaj, should the player become a naturalized British citizen, but the player appearing for England would have breached Federation Internationale de Football Association rules.

Januzaj opted for Belgium, but his career faltered.

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