Here is Belgium’s Michy Batshuayi with one of the greatest moments in the history of the World Cup. pic.twitter.com/JlFuN7vI1k— Birmingham Updates (@BhamUpdates) June 28, 2018
Here are some things we learned from the England vs Belgium game :
1. Belgium Re-Affirm Themselves Amongst The Tournament FavouritesThough both the teams showed little desire to win the group making 17 changes in total but Belgium did not fail to show that they are a team to fear by easing past Tunisia and Panama and also dispatching a win against The Three Lions in the England Vs Belgium match even after resting their key players.
2. No Kane No PartyGareth Southgate’s decision to sit out Harry Kane amongst the 8 changes he made for the England Vs Belgium match proved to be fatal for The Three Lions (or a blessing in disguise?) as the strike partnership between Manchester United’s golden boy Marcus Rashford and Leicester City forward Jamie Vardy lacked composure. It was evident how heavily they rely on their captain who has scored 5 of England’s 8 goals in this tournament to lead the race for the Golden Boot, one clear of Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku.
Marcus Rashford showed he lacks a clinical edge when he missed the best chance of the England Vs Belgium game but he is still the strike partner to start alongside Harry Kane that the opposition would least like to face due to his incredible pace and skills. Eric Dier said :
Rashford with the miss of the tournament 😥😥😥 pic.twitter.com/StYYPAvRbI— Unvẽrified (@__Mutuku) June 28, 2018
“We want to win every game and we’re disappointed we couldn’t do that today,I thought it was quite an even game. We created some good chances. We needed to finish one of them, that was all that was missing really.”
3. A Different Picture To The Knock-OutsAs some had argued earlier, finishing second poses an easier passage to Semi-Finals for England who will face the winner of Sweden vs Switzerland in the Quarter-Finals if they manage to get past Japan in the Round Of 16. This will be something to cheer about for the England fans who have high expectations from this golden generation of players. England manager Gareth Southgate:
“I thought the game was a really good test for us. We knew the level was going to be higher than we’ve had even with teams making changes. Belgium had controlled possession in our back third and we found it tough to press, but in terms of chances, we were fairly even. “I think we’ve learned a lot from the game. It will be a good game to go and review. The objective was a mid-term one. We’ve got everybody time on the pitch and they’re ready to come in, those that hadn’t previously played, and we’ve protected those who had.”On the other hand Belgium face tougher opponents in the Round of 16 and are likely to face Brazil in the Quarter-Finals, something their fans will be worried about but with below par performances from Brazil so far, Belgium will have a golden opportunity to make it to the Semi-Finals.