England will face Colombia in the knockout stage of the World Cup after Adnan Januzaj’s stunning strike settled their Group G game against Belgium.
Gareth Southgate made eight changes to the team which beat Panama 6-1 on Sunday, a result which confirmed England’s presence in the knockout stages with a match to spare.
With the likes of Harry Kane, Jesse Lingard and Raheem Sterling left on the bench, the Three Lions lacked the cohesiveness and energy that characterized their opening two games in the competition.
A Belgium side which missed the presence of Premier League stalwarts Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku seldom threatened during the opening period, relying on the aerial ability of Marouane Fellaini to worry England’s backline.
Southgate substituted John Stones with Harry Maguire at the break amid concerns over the Manchester City defender’s worrying calf injury.
Maguire and the rest of his teammates were incapable of preventing Januzaj from producing his match-winning effort with the one true moment of quality in an otherwise dour game.
Marcus Rashford had England’s best opportunity in response, but the United forward was unable to beat Thibaut Courtois in a one-one situation when a simple square pass would have presented Ruben Loftus-Cheek with a simple tap-in.
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