Why England Might Be Better Off Losing Their Final Game

Lynette Rowe
June 30, 2018

"I think we'd shown over the 120 minutes that we were the better team and we deserved to go through".

"We don't like to lose, but tonight there were other factors that were more important", Southgate said.

Belgium's win doesn't come without benefit - the team will matchup against Japan in its first match of the knockout round, while England will be facing off against Colombia, likely a more hard draw en route in the round of 16.

"If I go and head-butt Roberto in the last five minutes then you'll know we're taking a different approach to getting through", he added, laughing.

England ended up with the potentially more hard match in the round of 16, even though the country's national team hasn't won a knockout-stage game at any tournament since 2006.

Belgium's next game will be against Japan, a team which Martinez described to be very "dynamic, well organized, strong and technical".

It's an unfortunate turn of events for Rashford, who would have deserved his promotion ahead of England's second game.

England, meanwhile, will have a somewhat easier journey to the final should they get past Colombia in the opening match.

More news: Best 2018 FIFA World Cup Group Stage XI

Soccer Football - World Cup - England Training- England Training Camp, Saint Petersburg, Russia - June 27, 2018. "Now we need to look at our individual players".

Players react after the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group G football match between England and Belgium at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad on June 28, 2018.

Two weeks on and the last 16 awaits, with England's A team unbeaten.

There was something a touch Romantic about the way Germany were knocked out of the World Cup as Gareth Southgate simultaneously addressed the world knowing England are already through to the last 16, regardless of the result against Belgium.

There's something to be said for form and belief and momentum - all things Colombia established following back-to-back clean sheet wins over Poland and a Senegalese team that's among the scrappiest in the tournament.

British TV pundits were certain in their post-game assessments that the Three Lions' path to the semifinals is easier than the one Belgium received for winning the group. "I think here we've played extremely well". "Gareth is a top manager and a man of great knowledge, and everything he has done up to now, since I've been in the England set-up, has been spot on", said Maguire. In global football, that's just nearly a desperate call to see a loose team with no understanding of what we're trying to do.

"Falcao had a hard time in England clearly, but outside of England he's a very high-profile player", said Cahill of his former Chelsea teammate.

One of the numerous Belgium players with Premier League experience to their name found the breakthrough goal - Januzaj rolling his boot over the ball to take Danny Rose out of the game, before bending one out of Pickford's reach. "We saw that in the Euros two years ago".

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