Gary Cahill (L) of England and Adnan Januzaj of Belgium in action during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group G preliminary round soccer match between England and Belgium in Kaliningrad, Russia, 28 June 2018.
Thursday Jun 28, 2018. 21:55
Belgium finished top of Group G in the 2018 FIFA World Cup after beating England 1-0 at the Kaliningrad Stadium on Thursday night.
Belgium had the first decent opportunity to score in the tenth minute when a loose ball fell to Michy Batshuayi inside the England box, but his effort was cleared off the line by Gary Cahill.
Belgium came close to scoring again just before the half hour mark when a corner fell to the feet of Marouane Fellaini just inside the box, but his stinging shot deflected inches wide of the post.
In the 34th minute England had their first real sight on goal when Ruben Loftus-Cheek met a corner with a strong header, but his effort shaved the wrong side of the woodwork.
Neither side could find an opening goal before the half time break.
Six minutes into the second half Belgium took the lead following a solo run from Adnan Januzaj which saw him beat a couple of defenders on his way into the box before firing the ball home from 16-yards out, 1-0.
England nearly drew level in the 66th minute when Marcus Rashford let fly from long distance, but his thunderous effort was brilliantly saved by the Belgium keeper.
In the 83rd minute substitute Danny Welbeck thought he had found the equaliser when his shot from just inside the box beat the keeper, but was cleared off the goal line by a Belgium defender.
England threw players forward in the dying minutes of the match, but were unable to find a goal as they suffered their first lost of the competition to finish second in Group G.
England (0) 0
Belgium (0) 1 (Januzaj 51’)