Belgium topped England in a loose and entertaining third-place game Saturday, behind a couple terrifying quick-strike counterattack moves, and some delightfully screwy defending from the lads of England.
The first goal came in just the fourth minute, when Belgium flipped the pitch against an England side that seemed genuinely stunned that their opponents were allowed to kick the ball the other way:
Belgium mostly played on the front foot in the first half, and England never really produced anything more frightening than a wide blast from Harry Kane, whose all-but-certain World Cup Golden Boot will long be remembered as hilarious baloney by impartial observers. But England did have a tremendous chance in the 70th minute, on a lovely series of interior passes that seemed destined to produce an equalizer:
Denied! England continued to threaten over the next ten minutes or so, with Belgium still looking scary on the counter attack, but in the 82nd minute another far too easy move right down the center of England’s defense, highlighted by the hilariously wobbly footwork of defender Phil Jones, ended with Eden Hazard coolly putting the game out of reach:
Sadly, the vile redcoats looked strong enough in this World Cup for their fans to spend the next four years cultivating justifiable belief that it might, in fact, come home in 2022. But all they’re bringing home in 2018 is a crummy fourth place ribbon. Do they even have fourth place ribbons? They’re bringing home bupkis.