Belgium's Thomas Meunier celebrates after scoring their first goal against England in the World Cup 2018 third place play-off.(REUTERS)
Belgium's Thomas Meunier celebrates after scoring their first goal against England in the World Cup 2018 third place play-off.(REUTERS)

Thomas Meunier, Eden Hazard star as Belgium beat England in World Cup 2018 third place play-off

Belgium rode goals from Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard to beat England 2-0 in the World Cup 2018 third-place play-off in Saint Petersburg on Saturday.
By HT Correspondent | Omnisport
UPDATED ON JUL 14, 2018 09:35 PM IST

Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard combined to secure Belgium’s best performance at a World Cup as they edged England 2-0 in the third-place play-off in St Petersburg on Saturday.

Having fallen one match shy of a maiden final appearance in Tuesday’s slim 1-0 defeat to France, the Red Devils’ vaunted golden generation lifted themselves off the canvass to improve upon the fourth-place finish managed by Enzo Scifo, Jan Ceulemans and company in 1986.

Meunier was the unlikely hero early on as his close-range finish in the opening exchanges denied England what would have been their best tournament result since lifting the trophy 52 years ago.

READ | Luka Modric calls for check on emotions, seeks final hurrah in FIFA World Cup 2018

Belgium’s electrifying start mirrored that which Gareth Southgate’s men had made in their semi-final loss to Croatia, when a Kieran Trippier free-kick in the fifth minute looked likely to book them a second berth on the big stage.

But they eventually fell in extra time then and again conceded late in a less pressurised environment this time around, Hazard wrapping up victory - and Belgium’s second tournament win over England - with his third of the campaign in the 82nd minute.

Harry Kane’s struggles in the knockout rounds continued but, with Romelu Lukaku unable to add to the four he netted in Group G, should take home England’s only silverware as the likely Golden Boot winner, with Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann three goals behind Kane’s tally of six.

Suspended for the loss to France, Meunier’s return as one of two changes allowed Martinez to revert to his preferred three-man defensive shape.

The Paris Saint-Germain wing-back needed just four minutes to illustrate his value, racing into the box to get across Danny Rose and tuck home Nacer Chadli’s classy low cross in from the left.

The tournament’s top scorers were fluid going forward and might have been further ahead had Jordan Pickford not clawed away a deflected Kevin De Bruyne finish.

Kane should have brought England level 10 minutes later but, from an intelligent Raheem Sterling lay-off, scuffed wide of the left post.

Tottenham team-mate Toby Alderweireld was similarly wasteful when he hooked over the bar shortly after the half-hour, although Belgium’s only real setback by half-time was the loss of Chadli to an apparent hamstring injury.

Southgate responded to the deficit by introducing Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard in place of Sterling and Danny Rose at the interval.

Manchester United midfielder Lingard almost made the desired impact when his drive across goal narrowly evaded captain Kane.

At the other end, Lukaku’s heavy touch on the end of a clever De Bruyne pass scuppered the striker’s final chance to close in on his opposite number’s tally, Dries Mertens replacing him on the hour.

With a sluggish Kane continuing to struggle, it was left to Eric Dier to go closest to equalising 20 minutes from time. The midfielder burst through for a one-on-one and delicately dinked over Courtois, only to see a retreating Alderweireld desperately hack the ball off the line.

Everton keeper Pickford, a contender for the team of the tournament, kept his country in the game with a sublime one-handed save from Meunier in the 80th minute.

But it mattered little in the end, Hazard making no mistake with his near-post finish having been sent clean through by De Bruyne, the star pair combining to put a fitting seal on Belgium’s impressive showing in Russia.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Cristiano Ronaldo: File photo(REUTERS)
Cristiano Ronaldo: File photo(REUTERS)

Ronaldo eyes first Serie A top scorer prize after latest goal landmark

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 05:11 PM IST
The Portuguese forward guided a composed finish past Spezia goalkeeper Ivan Provedel in a 3-0 Serie A win for the Italian champions to mark the 600th league appearance of his career in typical fashion.
Close
Soccer Football - DFB Cup - Quarter Final - Borussia Moenchengladbach v Borussia Dortmund - Borussia-Park, Moenchengladbach, Germany - March 2, 2021 Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates Pool via REUTERS/Ina Fassbender(Pool via REUTERS)
Soccer Football - DFB Cup - Quarter Final - Borussia Moenchengladbach v Borussia Dortmund - Borussia-Park, Moenchengladbach, Germany - March 2, 2021 Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates Pool via REUTERS/Ina Fassbender(Pool via REUTERS)

Jadon Sancho fires Dortmund into German Cup semifinals

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 12:50 PM IST
Sancho made the breakthrough in the 66th minute on a counterattack after a Gladbach corner. Nico Schulz intercepted a Florian Neuhaus pass and played the ball forward through Erling Haaland and Marco Reus, who sent Sancho on his way. The England forward fired in off the left post.
Close
Lionel Messi waves to fans. (Getty Images)
Lionel Messi waves to fans. (Getty Images)

Will Lionel Messi exit the guild of one-club players this year?

By Bhargab Sarmah, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 08:24 AM IST
  • Barcelona have denied involvement in the scandal but following Monday’s events, the spotlight is back on the club, and it remains to be seen where it leads Messi.
Close
Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first player to score at least 20 goals in each of the last 12 seasons in Europe's top five leagues. (Juventus/Twitter)
Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first player to score at least 20 goals in each of the last 12 seasons in Europe's top five leagues. (Juventus/Twitter)

Ronaldo marks 600th league game with landmark goal as Juventus beat Spezia

Reuters, Turin
UPDATED ON MAR 03, 2021 07:44 AM IST
  • The Portuguese guided in his side's third goal late on after Alvaro Morata and Federico Chiesa had struck earlier in the second half.
Close
Gabriel Jesus celebrates his goal. (Gabriel Jesus/Twitter)
Gabriel Jesus celebrates his goal. (Gabriel Jesus/Twitter)

Jesus hits double as rampant Man City go 15 points clear with Wolves win

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 07:37 AM IST
  • City scored three late goals to wrap up victory and move onto 65 points with 11 games left to play ahead of Manchester United on 50 points with a game in hand.
Close
Paris St Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino(REUTERS)
Paris St Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino(REUTERS)

PSG need to focus on all games, not just those against title rivals - Pochettino

Reuters, Paris
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 10:48 PM IST
PSG are second in the standings on 57 points from 27 games, two points behind Lille with Olympique Lyonnais in third on 56 and Monaco in fourth place on 55.
Close
Soccer Football - Serie A - AS Roma v AC Milan - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - February 28, 2021 AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Alberto Lingria(REUTERS)
Soccer Football - Serie A - AS Roma v AC Milan - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - February 28, 2021 AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Alberto Lingria(REUTERS)

Ibrahimovic defends Sanremo role, stands by LeBron James comments

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 08:28 PM IST
The 39-year-old Swede has received criticism for agreeing to participate in four nights of the annual song contest in Liguria this week, as his club have Serie A fixtures on Wednesday and Sunday.
Close
Soccer Football - Copa del Rey - Semi Final First Leg - Sevilla v FC Barcelona - Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Seville, Spain - February 10, 2021 Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman reacts REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo/Files(REUTERS)
Soccer Football - Copa del Rey - Semi Final First Leg - Sevilla v FC Barcelona - Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Seville, Spain - February 10, 2021 Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman reacts REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo/Files(REUTERS)

Koeman says Bartomeu arrest bad for Barca image but focused on Sevilla Cup tie

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 08:20 PM IST
Bartomeu, who hired Koeman last August but resigned in October to avoid facing a vote of no-confidence, was detained on Monday along with CEO Oscar Grau in a probe related to allegations of improper management and business corruption.
Close
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith: File photo(Pool via REUTERS)
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith: File photo(Pool via REUTERS)

Villa's Grealish out of Sheffield United trip as 'frustrating' injury continues

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 06:41 PM IST
Grealish has still not recovered from a leg injury that he sustained in training last month but Smith said he was hopeful the England international will return to training later this week.
Close
File photo of Josep Maria Bartomeu(AP)
File photo of Josep Maria Bartomeu(AP)

Former Barcelona chief Bartomeu released day after arrest

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 06:37 PM IST
The statement said Bartomeu, president between 2014 and 2020, and his former adviser Jaume Masferrer, had made use of their right not to give a statement in court and the judge had agreed to their provisional release.
Close
Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid's stadium in the heart of the Spanish capital(Getty Imagess)
Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid's stadium in the heart of the Spanish capital(Getty Imagess)

Madrid: A city in love with football

PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 02:53 PM IST
  • Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu and Atletico de Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano host games on alternate weekends all through the LaLiga season.
Close
The Indian football team with coach Igor Stimac. (AIFF)
The Indian football team with coach Igor Stimac. (AIFF)

Stimac names list of India probables for Oman and UAE friendlies

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 02, 2021 01:40 PM IST
  • The final list of 28 players will be announced after the Indian Super League final.
Close
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson.(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson.(REUTERS)

UK government offers $4M for 2030 World Cup bid with Ireland

PTI, London
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 09:59 AM IST
The English Football Association disclosed the financial assistance for a potential British Isles bid on Monday as it received fresh backing from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Close
Soccer Football - Premier League - Everton v Southampton - Goodison Park, Liverpool, Britain - March 1, 2021 Everton's Richarlison celebrates scoring their first goal Pool via REUTERS/Clive Brunskill EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.(Pool via REUTERS)
Soccer Football - Premier League - Everton v Southampton - Goodison Park, Liverpool, Britain - March 1, 2021 Everton's Richarlison celebrates scoring their first goal Pool via REUTERS/Clive Brunskill EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.(Pool via REUTERS)

Everton beats Southampton 1-0 to be on verge of EPL top four

PTI, Liverpool
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 09:57 AM IST
Richarlison scored for the third consecutive match inside the first 10 minutes on Monday, and Everton held on to move within two points of fourth-placed West Ham with a match in hand.
Close
 Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.(REUTERS)
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.(REUTERS)

Real Madrid held by Sociedad ahead of derby against Atlético

AP, Madrid
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 08:27 AM IST
  • Coach Zinedine Zidane's attempt to push Madrid forward by switching formations midway through the game against Real Sociedad backfired on Monday, leading to a 1-1 home draw.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP