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13 Jul 2018

Belgium vs England: 5 things to look forward to in World Cup third place play-off

Belgium vs England: 5 things to look forward to in World Cup
third place play-off

Some would say this match is meaningless and a waste of time. They might be right, but there are still things to look forward to as the World Cup nears its conclusion.

REUTERS/Marko Djurica

All good things must come to an end as England found out on Wednesday when their improbable World Cup run finished in Moscow.

Gareth Southgate’s side had hoped to return to the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday for the final, but Mario Mandzukic’s winner in extra time of the semi-final sent Croatia through instead. Football is still in transit, and the years of hurt go on for the Three Lions. 

There is one game left, however. For the second time this tournament, Belgium and England face each other in a match which neither side really wants to play, following the second-string clash in the group stage when qualification was assured for both teams.

The Belgians experienced their own heartbreak as France strangled the life out of them in their semi-final, with a sole header from Samuel Umtiti enough for Les Bleus to reach the final for the first time in 12 years. 

Some would say this match is meaningless and a waste of time for players and fans. They might be right. But there are still some things to look forward to as a month of football draws to its conclusion.