Belgium beats England 2-0 to take third place in the World Cup

If you missed the game, watch this quickly, as FIFA will ensure it’s taken down. Here’s a precis of the match:


  1. Angel
    Posted July 14, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Sweet…England’s Waterloo

  2. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted July 14, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    England have gotten worse and worse as the tournament went on. I’m glad they got as far as they did but there’s a very real danger that this performance will paper over the massive cracks in the English game. England need to make the kind of overhaul of the youth system that Germany embarked upon after their appalling showings at tournaments a decade and a half ago, and they need to have the cold blood to realise that England’s current manager is a nice guy but not the kind of man who’ll ever win anything.

    Unfortunately, this frequently infuriating, extremely fortunate semi-achievement will likely be an excuse for the English Football Association to pat themselves on the back, give the manager a four-year contract and carry on as usual.

    In the long term interests of English football it might have been better if England had been knocked out in the group stages again. At least then someone might have said ‘enough’s enough’.

    • Dave
      Posted July 14, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Out of curiosity – who do you think could do a better job as manager than Southgate? It seems to me that we’ve tried every possible option over the last ~20 years, foreign, domsestic, trophy-winning, extrovert, quiet guy, etc, etc. I agree that today’s result is a reality check, but I think Southgate’s done enough to justify being given a shot at the next major tournament. If we flop at the next Euros (or fail to qualify), then yes, we should look elsewhere.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted July 14, 2018 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        That would be my only doubt. The abysmal lack of options. But, off the top of my head, Eddie Howe, Paul Clement, Steve Cooper the U-17s manager. Southgate is ineffectual and this is as far as England are going to get with him imo.

        • Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:32 am | Permalink

          He got a team of largely unknown players with only one real star and no create midfielder to the semi finals of the World Cup. How ineffectual is that?

    • Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:29 am | Permalink

      No, England got better as the tournament went on, but the opposition also got better. The last match was an anomaly because nobody cares who comes third.

      As for the youth system, maybe you should look up who the holders of the under 17 and under 20 world cups are. Hint: it’s England.

      England made the last four in the World Cup with a really young team against all expectations.

  3. Christopher
    Posted July 14, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    There’s a Brexit own-goal joke here somewhere but I’m not clever enough to figure it out. The good thing about england’s loss is that the public can continue to make disparaging remarks about their team for another 4 years, as the only thing England loves more than winning a World Cup is losing one.

  4. Jonathan
    Posted July 14, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    England have world class players but can’t seem to play as a team. Let’s not forget that Germany, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Brazil all performed poorly. As a retired pro footballer from England, losing was never a enjoyment

    • Posted July 14, 2018 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      “England have world class players …”

      Other than Kane, who?

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted July 14, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        You’d even be hard pressed to say it about Kane given his performances in open play.

        But I do think, even though they got to the semis, England can play a lot better than they have. The one game in which they looked genuinely threatening(as threatening as any other team in the tournament) was the 1st half of the Tunisia game. After that they just stopped playing that kind of football.

        With a more proactive, forceful manager, with young players like Loftus Cheek and Rashford, and especially with the all-conquering England U-17, U-19 and U-21 teams supplying players, England might improve. OTOH, this pseudo-victory might paper over the cracks for another thirty sodding years.

        • Mike
          Posted July 15, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

          Kane did nothing after the first couple of Games, world class? i don’t think so ,and the irony is he could walk away with the Golden Boot.As for the Manager he seems to have an inability to change his System, if it aint working change it ! He persisted with Sterling who was useless, Cahill was again left out, and Rashford ‘s only contribution apart from the odd cameo in extra time, was the last half of the last Match. As soon as Sterling was found unable to cope he should have been taken off, and repaced by Rashford, who apart from anything else plays with Lingard game after game and they complement each other. And someone explain to me , how it took Belgium about 5 passes to get from their Box to ours, and England took about 45 passes to reverse the direction, even with 5mins left against Croatia they were passing it back to the Goalkeeper, ridiculous. !

  5. Pierluigi Ballabeni
    Posted July 14, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Outside of the UK nobody imagined England could go so far in a football World championship. Congratulation for the achievement!

    • Posted July 14, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Helped by a very kind draw, they didn’t actually beat any high-rated team.

      • Mike
        Posted July 15, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink


  6. leslie
    Posted July 14, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Well as a English gal who knows football (and plays) I’m proud of the guys, not sure if any of our players other than Kane are world class, but Walker, Ali and Henderson are all very close, Mc Quire was a standout defender and Pickford was the best keeper in the tournament. Also don’t forget that England won the under 20 and under 17 World cup last year

    • Pierluigi Ballabeni
      Posted July 14, 2018 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Winning subadult World cups is not a guarantee. Switzerland won the under-17 WC in 2009 and then? Nothing. I see the difference between Switzerland and Englang in football though.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted July 14, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      Hi Leslie

      Perhaps English women can bring the World Cup ‘home’ next year? And English women reached the semi-finals three years ago – something quickly forgotten by our lazy media!

      Peace & more power to women’s football!

  7. George
    Posted July 14, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Would have preferred Scotland over England to have qualified for the World Cup. Any culture that can produce this deserves a slot:

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted July 14, 2018 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      And Rule 34 kicks in. [Runs, screaming.]

  8. Alan Clark
    Posted July 14, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Harry Kane looks like winning the Golden Boot award with six goals. It would take at least a hat-trick by someone in the final to catch him.

  9. nicky
    Posted July 15, 2018 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    I think we should give some credit to Belgium, they are the team scoring most goals: 16 from 7 matches.
    They have an attacking play and are quick on the counter. They have no ‘world-class star’, but operate as a team.
    Their goalkeeper is one of the best, only one fatal mistake (against France).

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 15, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      No “world-class star”? I think you’d be hard-pressed to make a case for that…

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