Defeat to Belgium sets up Englands biggest game for decade: Southgate
Defeat to Belgium sets up Englands biggest game for decade: Southgate
29 June, 2018, 14:43
Belgium finished top with Adnan Januzaj's second-half goal the only difference between the sides, and though England were only applying mild pressure at the end of the game, Alexander-Arnold was not pleased.
This will be the fourth meeting of the two nations in major tournaments.
The penultimate match of the group stages will see England take on Belgium with freakish coincidences as both teams having the exact same number of points, the exact same number of goal difference, the exact same number of goals scored, but England leads the group by fair play after receiving only 2 yellow cards compared to the 3 Belgium have.
As it stands - thanks to a few quirky results - one side of the draw appears considerably more hard.
And people are nearly making out that England did this on goal, one fan said: "England losing is possibly the smartest thing they could've done.avoid Brazil, Argentina, Uraguay, Portugal, France and Belgium".
Because of a few unexpected outcomes and results - Argentina coming second in its group; Germany's elimination - one side of the knockout stage is stacked while the other is unusually soft.
It could have been Japan in Rostov on Monday, but Adnan Januzaj's 51st-minute goal settled this game in the Red Devils' favour. That's because the victor of Group H now faces what looks like a much tougher road to the final.
Marcus Rashford has praised Thibaut Courtois following his missed chance in England's 1-0 defeat to Belgium on Thursday evening. We want to perform well but the priority is not to win.
"That's normally one of the stories that's always written about every hotel we stay at, there's always something close-by to distract us", Southgate said.
"Now, we need to focus on Japan, England play Colombia, and if you think further than that it's a problem". But losing to Belgium hands Gareth Southgate's lads the perceived easier route to the final.
In the other match in Group G, Tunisia notched their first win at a World Cup for 40 years, beating debutants Panama 2-1 to leave Russian Federation on a high.
Minutes after, in the 66th (!) minute to be precise, Rashford had the chance to go level.
Does the concept of "winning the right way" even matter in this amoral era of capitalism - when the line between right and wrong is usually determined by the bottom line? The Belgians, though, are known for their pragmatism and may not be as anxious about this perception of right and wrong, if the pre-game chatter is to be believed. Although it must have hurt it certainly had fans laughing.
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Again stressing England's woeful record at major tournaments in recent years, he added: 'We've not won a knockout game since 2006. Argentina topped Group A ahead of Italy and Bulgaria. "We have to keep building that belief and building those experiences".
England , in Southgate's mind, would be making a unsafe mistake if they started thinking too far ahead of themselves. That side includes four of the top seven teams in the world rankings and no team ranked lower than 15th.
Although some Twitter users voiced concern for his safety, Davis clarified that "I was not tweeting from under my desk". White House deputy press secretary Linsday Walters said, "our thoughts and prayers are with all that are affected".
At the half-way mark in the final round of games in Group H , Japan and Senegal remain poised to qualify for the round-of-16. Barcelona's Yerry Mina's goal in the 74th minute was the difference as the South American finished top of the group.
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