ST PETERSBURG (Reuters) – Belgium beat England 2-0 in the World Cup third-place play-off on Saturday to secure their best ever finish at a World Cup and send Gareth Southgate’s side home with a second straight loss.
France will face Croatia in Sunday’s final at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
A fourth-minute goal from Thomas Meunier and an 82nd minute Eden Hazard strike earned Belgium the victory and the third-place, which improves on their previous best performance of a fourth-place finish in 1986.
England were on top for most of the second half but with captain Harry Kane looking tired, Belgium’s greater sharpness in the final third proved decisive.
Meunier’s goal came after Romelu Lukaku swung the ball out left to Nacer Chadli who burst down the wing and slipped the ball across the face of the goal and the midfielder confidently slotted past Jordan Pickford.