England vs Belgium (2018 FIFA World Cup)

England vs Belgium (2018 FIFA World Cup)

Whoever of England and Belgium tops the group will face the second-ranked team from Group H, with the victor of the latter group to play the runner-up.

John Adamson, 48, of Ryhope, said: "The other two matches we've looked like we've got loads of goals in us but tonight, maybe because there were so many changes to the side, we didn't seem to have anywhere near as much threat. This World Cup is very unpredictable and you need to look at yourself and how strong you can be".

"No words!" chided the best-selling Bild daily, over a picture of a despondent-looking Toni Kroos.

Sportsmail understands Kane was desperate to play in the final Group G clash in Kaliningrad on Thursday night as he sought to stretch his lead in the race for the Golden Boot.

Among the Premier League stars on the national team rosters for this match are four of last season's top six goal scorers - England captainHarry Kane (Tottenham, second with 30 goals) and compatriots Jamie Vardy (Leicester City, fourth with 20 goals), and Raheem Sterling(Manchester City, fifth with 18 goals), and Belgium's Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United, sixth with 16 goals). "Why we would be starting to plot which would be a better venue for our semi-final is beyond me really".

They now face Colombia in the second round and if they get through that game Sweden or Switzerland will be their quarter final opponents, instead of five-time winners Brazil or Mexico. The knockout game is the important one. Neither team is a lock to win its next game, of course, but it's easy to see why England won't be that disheartened by its loss.

"All the big names will come back in for the next game and we'll have to do a lot better because Colombia have got some unsafe forwards".

Sports data company Gracenote has given England a 24 percent chance of reaching the semifinals should they win the group, which increases to 35 percent should England finish second. The first two will always be regarded as gimmies and we got what we should have out of them but we could have made a statement by coming away with nine points.

"That's football. If you don't take your chances, you can be at the mercy of a goal like that".

The question is whether Southgate will lament resting most of his lineup following a pair of group-stage fixtures that didn't test an England side that has a history of falling short at major tournaments.

"There was a lot of tension in the air today and, in that regard, I think my team did very well".

All the final group matches are played together to avoid what happened to Algeria in 1982. It felt like a proper World Cup match in the stands, even if it was a odd affair on it, with two of the best benches in World Cup history. The last of these came 12 years ago against Ecuador. Sure, it makes sense to want the easier path to the final, but as this Cup has already shown - particularly with Germany's shocking exit on Wednesday - things don't always go as planned.

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