World Cup: Belgium downs England but both advance

8:28 am on 29 June 2018

FIFA World Cup - Belgium have beaten England 1-0 in their final group match but both sides have advanced to the last 16 of the football World Cup in Russia.

Marcus Rashford came the closest to scoring for England.

Marcus Rashford came the closest to scoring for England. Photo: Photosport

A superb second-half strike from Adnan Januzaj gave Belgium the win, putting them at the top of Group G and consigning England to second place.

Belgium now play Japan in Rostov-on-Don on Tuesdsay while England play Colombia in Moscow on Wednesday in the knockout phase.

Read more of our FIFA 2018 coverage:

  • Safe space for LGBT community at FIFA World Cup shut down
  • Japan sneak into knockout phase of World Cup
  • Squeaky Bum Time: A FIFA World Cup podcast
  • Germany crash out of World Cup
  • FIFA World Cup: A dummies' guide
  • Victory in the next round would see Belgium play Brazil or Mexico with England up against Sweden or Switzerland.

    Belgium and England both rested several first-choice players, despite half-chances at either end, the fans wondered if their teams were willing to accept second spot for an arguably easier run-in by avoiding the more fancied teams.

    Yet six minutes into the second half when the 23-year-old Januzaj shimmied on the edge of the box and sent a perfect shot into the far corner of the net past England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford there was delight in the Belgian camp.

    England rued a wasted opportunity by Marcus Rashford after 66 minutes, when he fired wide after finding himself one-on-one with Thibaut Courtois in the Belgian goal.

    But having rested striker Harry Kane and seven others, they found no reply.

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