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World Cup

Belgium see off England 2-0 to claim third place

Giuseppe Cacace, AFP | Belgium's forward Eden Hazard (R) vies with England's defender John Stones (2ndL) during their Russia 2018 World Cup play-off for third place football match between Belgium and England in Saint Petersburg, July 14 2018.

Belgium finished third in the World Cup, their best-ever performance, when they beat England 2-0 with an early Thomas Meunier goal and a breakaway finished by Eden Hazard in Saturday's playoff between the losing semi-finalists.

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Meunier finished off a devastating move when he turned in Nacer Chadli's low cross at the far post in the fourth minute after Romelu Lukaku's pass sliced open the English defence.

Belgium, who beat England 1-0 in a group match in the tournament, were more dangerous throughout a lively first half. But England improved after the break and nearly equalised when Eric Dier got clear and chipped over Thibaut Courtois, only for Toby Alderweireld to make a sliding clearance off the line.

Belgium continued to threaten on the break and finished off the game when Kevin de Bruyne set Hazard clear and he swept his shot past Jordan Pickford.

(AP)

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