The consolation third place playoff game will offer no consolation at all for Belgium or England. Their dreams were crushed in semi final losses. For Belgium it is the end of what has been called the “Golden Age” for their soccer program. For England it was a tantalizing upset run in which midnight finally struck for Cinderella.
The winner of this third-place playoff game between England and Belgium will still feel like the heartbroken loser that they actually are. That’s the harsh reality of what will be on the pitch this Saturday.
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2018 FIFA World Cup England vs. Belgium
Date and Time: Saturday, July 14, 2018, 10 a.m. ET
Location: Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg
World Cup Betting Online Odds at BetCris: England +217, Belgium +143, Draw +236, Over 3 -107, Under 3 -113, England + ½ -116, Belgium – ½ +100
2018 FIFA World Cup TV Coverage: FOX
Devil of a Time
For Belgium there were great hopes and a considerable amount of anticipation for their semifinal match against France. The Red Devils were the more experienced team and had what was considered to be the superior defense. But France is loaded with plenty of young talent that combines speed and skill to rate as a world power. It proved to be too much for Belgium as Les Bleus prevailed 1-0. Both sides had their share of chances but it was a Samuel Umtiti goal that provided the difference for France.
End of an Era
For Belgium this marks the likely end of what is called their “Golden Age.” It was believed that if ever Belgium was going to win the World Cup title this would be the year. The window was never more wide open than now. Which is what makes their defeat so painful to take. The Red Devils proved to be an offensive juggernaut in this tournament but simply couldn’t finish in the biggest match of their lives.
Three Lions Roar No More
Perhaps England’s defeat to Croatia is even more painful. They were not expected to be one of the top teams and certainly not expected to make the semifinal. Yet they became the Cinderella story of the tournament and their countrymen became even more obsessed and crazed than ever before. Against Croatia in the semi final the Three Lions led until the 68 minute mark when Ivan Perisic tied the game. Mario Mandzukic then shattered the souls of England with a goal at the 109 mark of extra time to propel Croatia to the final.
For England the defeat did much to take away all of the excitement that they had generated leading up to the loss to Croatia. The Three Lions proved to be a young, speedy and exciting team. But to let Croatia off the hook and then to lose in extra time was excruciating for all concerned. Fans have been as disconsolate as the players.
It’s Not Coming Home
“It’s finally coming home” has been the cry of Englishmen for the past few days. England really believed that the title would finally be theirs. Well its not coming home and the pain of this defeat will be felt for years to come.
Players to Watch
England’s Harry Kane has emerged as the star of the tournament and leads with six goals. He is likely going to win the Golden Boot.
Romelu Lukaku leads Belgium with four goals in this tournament. Kevin De Bruyne has shown why he is one of the top midfielders in the world.
England vs. Belgium Free Picks
Both teams suffered crushing defeats and neither likely wants to actually take part in this match. A draw may be the best of the bad alternatives.
England vs. Belgium Pick: Bet the money line on the draw
England vs. Belgium Score Prediction: England 1, Belgium 1
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