England's 'safer path' after Belgium defeat divides media opinion

Hope Soto
June 30, 2018

Lukaku lies joint second alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the World Cup Golden Boot, one shy of England captain Harry Kane, who has five.

Southgate must now reflect on England's first loss at this World Cup in Russian Federation while he prepares to face the unsafe Colombians in Moscow on Tuesday, while Belgium go to Rostov to play Japan on Monday.

Below are more details on the broadcast, which will be aired in Spanish and will begin at 1:30 p.m. ET.

A night of little tension or attacking intent seemed just what the England and Belgium coaches desired after making a combined 17 changes to their starting lineups to rest players for the knockout phase.

The victor of group G will be decided on fair play ratings and England have collected two yellow cards to Belgium's three going into the tie.

Not only that, the Colombians have pedigree after a run to the quarterfinal stage at the 2014 World Cup on the back of some stunning performances from their star man James Rodriguez. The match will also be livestreamed in Spanish on TelemundoDeportes.com and via the Telemundo Deportes En Vivo and NBC Sports apps.

What happens if England win or lose? "We want to win". But that might not turn out to be the desirable outcome since the victory diverted Belgium onto the tougher potential path to the final.

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It didn't come down to that ridiculous tie-breaker, though, as Belgium won a truly unremarkable game 1-0, thanks to a goal in the 51st minute by former Manchester United phenom Adnan Januzaj.

In fact Pitt-Brooke considered the farcical approach to the game from both teams as against the spirit this World Cup has been played in. Meanwhile, England, if it beats a James Rodriguez-less Colombia side (which it should), will get the victor of Sweden-Switzerland.

They have shown in this World Cup that they can bounce back from a defeat and win games.

By winning the match and thus the group, Belgium moves to the "side of death" for the knockout round, where four of the top five teams in the world according to Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings - Brazil, Belgium, Portugal, and Argentina - will all compete for one spot in the final. OK, we didn't win the game, but there was a myriad of other things involved in the decision.

"I ask that we go step by step and I see the people in Belgium are very proud of this team, they should be, we have been doing well", he added.

Finishing second, England take on Colombia, with a potential quarterfinal against the victor of Sweden vs. Switzerland. "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".

Of course, neither England nor Belgium has achieved much recent major tournament success, so the anguish over whether or not either team even wanted to win Group H felt like a bit much. But the prospect of trying to pick up some sneaky yellow cards, a move which backfired quite spectacularly for David Beckham in a 2004 World Cup qualifier, has not even been broached with the squad, Southgate said.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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