England v Belgium round-up: Colombia await Three Lions after defeat
England will play Colombia in the World Cup round of 16 on Tuesday night after finishing second in Group G.
The Three Lions lost 1-0 to Belgium thanks to Adnan Januzaj’s superb strike, allowing the Red Devils to top the group.
And that result, coupled with Colombia’s 1-0 success over Senegal, ensures Gareth Southgate’s men will meet the South Americans on Tuesday evening in Moscow. Belgium will go on to play Japan.
It could be a blessing in disguise for the Three Lions, who would face Sweden or Switzerland in the quarter-finals now, instead of Brazil or Mexico.
And that twist of fate has meant that despite losing, our traders have cut England’s odds of winning the World Cup from 8/1 to 7/1.
After the dramatic and thrilling wins over Tunisia and Pamana ensured progression, Southgate rung the changes for England’s final group game. Eight changes, in fact.
Belgium did likewise, and what resulted was a substantially subdued encounter.
The two sides were evenly matched in the opening 45 minutes, with neither nation really giving it everything.
But Januzaj’s strike early in the second half gave the Belgians the upper hand.
Marcus Rashford had a gilt-edged chance to reply, but the usually clinical Manchester United striker failed to hit the target. His strike partner Jamie Vardy endured a quiet night up front.
Substitute Danny Welbeck had a couple of efforts in the dying minutes, but Southgate’s decision to send the Arsenal man on ahead of talisman Harry Kane said much about England’s true desire (or lack of) to win the game.
Kane may not have played this one, but he remains 13/8 favourite to win this year’s Golden Boot. The Tottenham Hotspur strike is on five goals so far in Russia.
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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication