Januzaj's stunning strike sees Belgium top Group G
30 June, 2018, 00:37 | Author: John Swanson
By winning the match and thus the group, Belgium moves to the "side of death" for the knockout round, where four of the top five teams in the world according to Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings - Brazil, Belgium, Portugal, and Argentina - will all compete for one spot in the final.
"We had a choice with our friendly matches to play teams who would be a bit easier, but we deliberately chose to play against top teams because we knew it would be better challenge".
'Of course, if we don't win, I understand people would say whatever about the Belgium game, but for me that was the right thing to do and you've got to take decisions you believe are the right ones'.
England manager Gareth Southgate and Belgium's Roberto Martinez rang the changes for their World Cup Group G decider in Kaliningrad on Thursday, giving squad players a chance to impress ahead of the knockout rounds.
The match was in desperate need of a spark, given the nature of Fifa's Fair Play tie-breaker rules.
A brilliant 51st-minute strike from Januzaj was enough to give Belgium the victory and claim top spot in Group G, to set up a clash with Japan in Rostov.
Had England striker Harry Kane not scored an added-time victor against Tunisia in their first group game in Russian Federation, things could have been very different, noted Martinez. "You have seen big nations coming very close to elimination, or already eliminated". I know in some quarters that will be criticised but I am entirely comfortable with that.
"Well played lads!", the Sun newspaper declared as on its front page as it congratulated the players for securing an "easier route to World Cup glory".
Germany apologised to the country on their official Twitter account before the team landed in Frankfurt. "It was disappointing to lose the game, but we have lost nothing".
He was also able to try out with success Thomas Vermaelen, the Barcelona defender out injured for over a month, and later in the game to give a run out to defensive talisman Vincent Kompany, who had also yet to play in Russian Federation due to injury. "That's why we deserved to be eliminated, as bitter as it is". But the prospect of trying to pick up some sneaky yellow cards, a move which backfired quite spectacularly for David Beckham in a 2004 World Cup qualifier, has not even been broached with the squad, Southgate said. "Now, rather than having players not on the training ground because they're recovering, we'll have a gym session on Friday and players ready to start training for Colombia the next day".
After starting at Freedom Plaza, the group was expected to march to the Department of Justice and the Hart Senate Office Building. The Associated Press reported that 575 protesters were eventually arrested after refusing to leave the building.
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