World Cup: England 0 Belgium 1 - 5 things you need to know

England's defender Harry Maguire (left) and Belgium's forward Adnan Januzaj vie for the ball during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group G football match between England and Belgium at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad on June 28, 2018.
England's defender Harry Maguire (left) and Belgium's forward Adnan Januzaj vie for the ball during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group G football match between England and Belgium at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad on June 28, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

With both teams assured of a place in the last 16, England and Belgium both rested key men for their Group G encounter.

The Three Lions made eight changes, including leaving Harry Kane on the bench, while Roberto Martinez kept Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne in reserve. With the Fair Play tie-breaker in mind, it was not a thriller in Kaliningrad until Adnan Januzaj decided to spice things up a bit.

1. Goals

Belgium (Adnan Januzaj 51st minute)

2. The wow moment

The match was in desperate need of a spark, given the nature of Fifa's Fair Play tie-breaker rules. And it was Belgium, who trail in terms of yellow cards, who showed more fire. Januzaj netted his first international goal when he jinked his way inside the England box before curling a glorious shot beyond the fingertips of goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. Cue the celebrations from the Belgians led by Michy Batshuayi, who picks up the ball, dropped kick it and promptly hits the post and gets smacked right in the face by the rebound. It was a moment as entertaining as Januzaj's goal.

3. The talking point

Once again, Fifa's Fair Play rules come into question on the same match day when Japan ran down the clock to ensure their progress. Both England and Belgium rested their most important players and the game was sorely lacking in thrilling action. Gareth Southgate made tactical tweaks after Januzaj's goal but it came too late, the Three Lions started meekly and ended the game meekly. Just one shot on target from the side that hammered Panama 6-1 just a few days ago.

4. The star

Januzaj's Manchester United career may have petered out but he has slowly recovered his touch at LaLiga club Real Sociedad. He barely made it into Belgium's World Cup squad but he justified Martinez's selection by providing the winner in this match against England.

5. What the result means

England paid for their team selection by surrendering pole position in Group G to Belgium. They will now meet Colombia in the last 16 and the South Americans are on fire at the moment, having won their last two matches. Belgium will now face Japan, whose World Cup campaign lost steam in that feeble loss to Poland. Having started the tournament on fire, England now has to turn on the style again against Colombia and there will be a huge outcry if they flop again for many will point to this performance as the root of it.