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England beaten by Belgium in World Cup and face Colombia in last 16


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Updated  29/06/18  
England - 0 Belgium - 1
England beaten by Belgium in World Cup and face Colombia in last 16
Perhaps, trying to be optimistic, it might work out better this way, after all. Maybe England will have the chance later in this tournament to be grateful they avoided the possibility of a quarter-final against Brazil. And, without wishing to get too far ahead of ourselves, perhaps this defeat will not matter greatly if England can find themselves in a position whereby it is Sweden or Switzerland trying to prevent them reaching the semi-finals rather than, in theory, the five-times world champions.
Alternatively it might just be that England come to regret the night Gareth Southgate chose to field a vastly changed lineup – a vastly weakened one, too, on this evidence – when the reward for preserving their place at the summit of Group G would have been a tie against Japan in the last 16.
Instead England fell flat on a strangely subdued evening, full of intrigue but low on drama with the category-A players from both sides watching from the bench. It was a calculated gamble from Southgate and Adnan Januzaj’s winner, six minutes into the second half, means England will now have to take on Colombia next Tuesday, whereas Belgium get the plum tie against Japan the previous night.


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