FOOTBALL NEWS - In one of those ‘tell someone who cares’ games, Belgium went one better than in their group clash against England to win 2-0 in the play-off for the bronze medal, also known as the Losers’ Trophy .
The game was fairly even; the difference being that England were simply unable to turn good play into goals.
Belgium started brightly, with a goal in the 4th minute as Thomas Meunier got on the end of a Nacer Chadli cross from the left (1-0).
Why on earth did they play Chadli on the right in the semi-final against France?!
Belgium bossed a first half that lacked intensity but made up for it in openness.
Kevin de Bruyne was waving the conductor’s wand and he, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard regularly pierced the English defence but could not put away chances.
Closest the Red Devils came to scoring was when a miskick from Youri Tielemans fell to Toby Alderweireld, who showed why he plays at the back and not among the forwards.
A fiercely committed John Stones seemed to block almost every shot at goal, with Jordan Pickford only having one real attempt to deal with.
Belgium seemed content to just absorb England pressure – such as it was – in the second half.
Although the Three Lions created plenty of chances, they did so at a slow pace and only once did they look like scoring.
That was when Erik Dier was put through, beat Thibaut Courtois in the Belgium goals but had the mortification of seeing Toby Alderweireld slide to ball clear inches from the line.
It was Tottenham foiling Tottenham with Chelsea the filling in the sandwich.
The killer punch came 10 minutes from the close with De Bruyne feeding Hazard and the little man making no mistake in beating Pickford for 2-0.
Other than bragging rights and the gate takings, once again the irrelevance of this fixture showed, although for Belgium this was their highest ever World Cup finish.