Belgium and England, who lost against France and Croatia in the semi-finals, came face to face, in the third place playoff, to salvage souvenir of the World Cup 2018. The game was played in Krestovsky Stadium, Russia on July 14.

Belgium had one of the strongest squads in the World Cup 2018, but in the semis, they lost to France who is the favorite to win the title. After beating Belgium, France is in the finals of the competition. However, on the bright side, for the Belgian fans, their team only lost one game throughout the competition.

They defeated Belgium, Tunisia, and England in the group-stages and won against Brazil, Japan, and England in the knockout stages.

Overall, it was a good World Cup for them as they learned a lot for a young squad.

Third-place match

Belgium came with minor changes, in the playing-11, from their last match in the semi-finals against France. The Red Devils scored the first goal of the game just after three minutes of the game. Thomas Meunier, with an assist of Nacer Chadli, scored the goal to give Belgium the lead.

England kept the most of the possession in the first-half to find the equalizer before the break. They created a few chances but couldn’t keep them on target. The first-half ended with a 1-0 lead for Belgium.

In the second-half, Belgium didn’t look to go for possession of the ball, but they rather tried to catch the opponents on counterattacks.

England came so close to find the equalizer many times, but tight defense by Belgium kept the English players at bay.

Belgium again caught their opponents on the counterattack at the 81st minute and scored the second goal, nine minutes before full-time.

An outstanding run by Eden Hazard helped his team to seal the deal. The game ended with a 2-0 win for Belgium and earned them the World Cup bronze, noted the BBC.

Learning curve

Even though Belgium didn’t win in 2018, they’ve gained experience that will take them into the 2022 World Cup much stronger. The 2022 World Cup will be held in Qatar, noted ESPN.

The Belgian players can definitely do much better than this year’s World Cup as they have a young squad.

Players like Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, and Kevin De Bruyne will definitely play in Qatar unless they sustain any injury. More experience will boost their chances of winning the World Cup. Most of the Belgian players have been playing in Europe’s elite leagues like Premier League, La Liga, and Serie A, which will make them stronger for their national team.

Correction (July 18th 2018): A previous version of this article stated that Panama came with minor changes, in the playing-11, from their last match in the semi-finals against France when in fact it was Belgium.