England finish fourth at World Cup after Eden Hazard seals Belgium win

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There was a collective puffing of cheeks by England’s players at the final whistle as realisation dawned that it was over. They ended up victims of Belgium’s best-ever World Cup showing, beaten by a team who will be welcomed by King Philippe at Château de Laeken on Sunday before a parade in Brussels’ Grand Place. England intend to fly back, quietly and without fanfare, to Birmingham with holidays on their mind. Instinctively, it feels as if they might merit more.

Gareth Southgate’s young and talented squad have surpassed all expectations. No England team have bettered the fourth place they claimed, unexpectedly and joyously, on foreign soil. Plenty of those on the outside looking in will offer reminders that they escaped high-calibre opposition courtesy of a kind draw, and that Belgium, ranked third in the world, beat them twice. The manager admitted there was a gulf in quality and experience between the two sides. But, in the context of the anxious mess England have appeared at recent major finals, this campaign has been regenerative.

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Written by Dominic Fifield at the St Petersburg Stadium
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jul/14/england-belgium-world-cup-third-place-play-off-match-report under the title “England finish fourth at World Cup after Eden Hazard seals Belgium win”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.