tiptrot.com July 18, 2018

Belgium pips England to top spot in WCup Group G

29 June 2018, 02:40 | Mandy Simon

SPLASH NEWS GLAMOUR The stunning partners posed outside a swish Japanese restaurant


The Belgium team built around Enzo Scifo and Jan Ceulemans had come achingly close in 1986, going out in the World Cup semi-finals to eventual winners Argentina, and felt destiny on their shoulders as they faced England at Italia '90. "Everyone is disappointed now". If you do not play to win, you are cheating your opponents, deceiving those who are watching, and also fooling yourself. "It is very important to protect and give every player the best possible programme to be in the best condition in the knockout game".

It led to an unreal atmosphere and a game that sometimes resembled a battle no-one wanted to win, summed by the sound of Belgium supporters cheering yellow cards, knowing their inferior disciplinary record could see them fail to win the group and plot a potentially easier route around Russian Federation.

Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold, who made his competitive debut in place of Kieran Trippier, added: "Colombia will be very tough". It was like welcoming back an old friend, then remembering why you stopped hanging around with them, all those years ago.

England impressed in their opening two World Cup games, beating Tunisia 2-1 in Volgograd and thumping Panama 6-1 in Nizhny Novgorod. 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.

England´s forward Harry Kane celebrates with England´s midfielder Jordan Henderson (R) after scoring a penalty during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group G football match between England and Panama at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod on June 24, 2018.

"You have to think physically, medically, tactically for the benefit of the group", he said.

'We've played well in the games leading into it and played well in the tournament.

The Belgians did have couple chances to extend their lead in the closing stages, but the likes of Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens could not take advantage as the clash ended 1-0.

They'll play the runners-up in group H - one of Japan, Senegal and Colombia - in the last 16 in Rostov-on-Don on Monday, kick-off 7pm. It was a good goal. "Those were risks we didn't need to take".

Two of the tournament's most underwhelming teams meet up in the first match of the Round of 16. If they lose then this game will be viewed as the night when vital momentum was lost.

"I felt this was a game we wanted to win but the knockout game is our biggest for a decade", Southgate told British broadcaster ITV.

"Sometimes it's hard to keep the positivity and spirits up, especially after a defeat, but we were playing against a good team today".

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

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