England vs. Belgium - Football Match Report

England vs. Belgium - Football Match Report

But England top Group G because they have a better disciplinary record, after receiving two bookings compared to Belgium's three.

Their battle in Kaliningrad follows the dramatic exit of Joachim Loew´s 2014 winners, who finished rock bottom of their group after a 2-0 defeat to South Korea, the final humiliation after a campaign that never caught fire. One day later, England's Kane scored a hat trick, adding to his two goals in England's opener, and leads the World Cup with five goals.

They sit 16th in the Federation Internationale de Football Association world rankings, just four places below England, and are a clear threat to their progress, but Southgate insists there was no easy option ahead of his team.

Such was the curious conclusion to the group stage at the World Cup on Thursday.

"I am amused when people are plotting the route right through to where we would rather stay in for the semifinal".

But having beat Panama so convincingly earlier in the competition, with a 6-1 victory, defender Maguire is confident England can progress past Colombia. "Remember, we made nine changes".

The Three Lions will be hoping to win their first knockout match since 2006 in Moscow next Tuesday, when widespread changes are again on the cards after their squad players struggled against Roberto Martinez's reserves.

"I think it will be an interesting game, a 50-50 game, and both teams are qualified so it will be a odd game", said Fellaini, who plays in England for Manchester United, having made his name for another Premier League club Everton. "I would keep him in the side - that would be tough on Ashley Young but you need that left-footed player in the team". "We know our strongest 11, but what's pleasing is that there are guys that have put their hand up tonight to really push for a place". "It is very important for us to protect and give every player the best possible programme to be in the best condition in the knockout game".

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England's Harry Kane is leading the race for the World Cup Golden Boot.

The fact second place in the group was no disaster seemed to be a big factor in both coaches' team selection with their places in the last 16 already secured.

Martinez has now given all 20 outfield squad players a game in the World Cup.

Japan coach Akira Nishino has warned his players against complacency when they meet the already eliminated Poles.

However, the defending champions crashed out in calamitous fashion, while the other finalist from four years ago barely scraped it into the next round.

Jose Pekerman has refused to entertain the prospect of seeing Colombia´s stuttering World Cup campaign end at the first hurdle.

The victor of this match will come up against Japan in the next round, just to throw a bit of balance into the "better to finish second" debate.

Aliou Cisse´s Senegal will attempt to succeed where the rest of their continental rivals failed, with Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia all out. The last-16 ties start Saturday, with France taking on Argentina in Kazan and Uruguay facing Cristiano Ronaldo´s Portugal in Sochi.

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