England will face Colombia in the last 16 of the World Cup after Adnan Januzaj’s stunning second-half strike earned Belgium a 1-0 win in a low-key Group G decider in Kaliningrad.
Januzaj produced a delicious finish when he fired across Jordan Pickford and into the top corner of the net in the 51st minute.
Marcus Rashford had two good chances to equalise but for the most part it was a lacklustre encounter between two sides who had already qualified for the knockout stages.
Tweet of the match
England star man – Danny Rose
The Tottenham man did not have it all his own way and was deceived by Januzaj in the build-up to the game’s only goal. But otherwise Rose looked solid and inventive and could be the one player above all others who left Gareth Southgate with a selection poser ahead of the clash with Colombia.
To win or not to win? The question was rendered somewhat redundant by Colombia’s ascent to the top of Group H earlier in the day. But there was evidently an air of ‘no-lose’ in Kaliningrad as the teams made a combined total of 17 changes. In the end, Belgium showed the required desire – their long-term prospects may be tougher, but they will relish a last-16 clash with Japan.
Food for thought
Gareth Southgate will certainly bring back the majority of his big guns for the last-16 tie against Colombia, but Rose and Ruben Loftus-Cheek probably did most to give the England boss a selection dilemma. Conversely, Jordan Pickford looked strangely shaky and could prove vulnerable if England are to advance into the later stages.
England: Jordan Pickford 5, Phil Jones 5, John Stones 5, Gary Cahill 6, Trent Alexander-Arnold 6, Danny Rose 7, Eric Dier 5, Fabian Delph 6, Ruben Loftus-Cheek 7, Marcus Rashford 6, Jamie Vardy 6. Subs: Harry Maguire (for Stones, 46 mins) 6, Danny Welbeck (for Alexander-Arnold, 78 mins) 6.
Belgium: Thibaut Courtois 7, Leander Dendoncker 6, Dedryck Boyata 7, Thomas Vermaelen 7, Marouane Fellaini 8, Mousa Dembele 6, Nacer Chadli 6, Thorgan Hazard 7, Adnan Januzaj 8, Youri Tielemans 7, Michy Batshuayi 7. Subs: Vincent Kompany (for Vermaelen, 75 mins) 6, Dries Mertens (for Januzaj, 86 mins) 7.
England v Colombia, World Cup last 16 (Moscow, July 3)
Belgium v Japan, World Cup last 16 (Rostov, July 2)