wnol.info July 21 2018

Kane benched as England, Belgium make wholesale changes

July 21 2018, 07:55 | Perry Erickson

FIFA World Cup England vs Belgium: competing for defeat? | RNZ News

Beating England not priority for Belgium boss Martinez

With both managers making wholesale changes having already secured qualification from the group, the two teams played with so little intensity during the first half that they were booed and jeered by local fans inside the ground at half-time. When the match kicks off, both teams will be able to plot their potential route through to the final, as this is in the last pair of group stage matches.

Colombia have grown into this World Cup and can not be taken lightly.

Belgium, meanwhile, are on the same side of the bracket as Brazil, Mexico, France, Argentina, Uruguay and Portugal, but Alexander-Arnold rejected the thought that England were not too unhappy to finish as Group G runners-up.

We round up Wednesday's talking points from Russian Federation as England finish second in Group G, and Fair Play makes a big call.

"Sometimes it's hard to keep the positivity and spirits up, especially after a defeat, but we were playing against a good team today".

What looked like being one of the ties of the group stage instead became a rather odd encounter given the talk about the most favourable knockout route, including suggestions that finishing runners-up may be preferable.

Colombia coach Jose Pekerman said he was "extremely concerned" for James Rodriguez after he limped off during their win over Senegal.

The Senegalese are strong, fast and technically skilful - led by Liverpool striker Mane - but the English may feel more comfortable in a physical contest with the Africans.

England's opponents are, on paper at least, easier - Sweden or Switzerland await in the last eight - and they face less travelling should they progress.

England suffered their first World Cup defeat as they were beaten by Belgium to finish second in Group G.

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With 35 Premier League players from the 2017/18 campaign playing for either England or Belgium during the World Cup there will be plenty of familiar faces on show.

Januzaj's superb second-half goal sent Belgium into a last 16 clash with Japan while England will now advance to a second round meeting with Colombia on Tuesday.

"Part of the discipline of being in tournaments is to minimise yellow cards so you have players available for future games".

It led to an unreal atmosphere and a game that sometimes resembled a battle no-one wanted to win, summed by the sound of Belgium supporters cheering yellow cards, knowing their inferior disciplinary record could see them fail to win the group and plot a potentially easier route around Russian Federation.

This could create a insane scenario with both teams wanting to avoid success, or putting in a few nasty tackles to lose the Fair Play ratings.

And if England did have a plan all along, people are hoping that it doesn't go down the drain in the next round, with one person sharing on Twitter: "The most #England thing that could ever happen: Deliberately lose to #Belgium to avoid Brazil in the quarters".

Can he make it 6 or more goals in 3 matches?

On Saturday, Lukaku recorded a pair of goals for the second consecutive game - both Belgium victories - to become the first player to score multiple goals in consecutive World Cup matches since Argentina's Diego Maradona in 1986.

Here are the highlights from day 15 at the World Cup.

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