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Monday, July 16, 2018

Belgium says goodbye to Russia with a smile

Por Rory

The match that no one wants to play gave Belgium a prize that can hardly comfort their fans, but which recognizes them as one of the great news of the World Cup in Russia. They did not reach their goal, but in their journey they left samples of a well-cooked football, in which Hazard and De Bruyne put the spicy. The chef, Roberto Martinez a Catalan who knew how to choose the menu every day to feed his fans in a cheerful way. And finally they finished off with the beardless England in a very open game with goals from Meunier and Hazard in two counterattacks.

For the first time in its history Belgium reaches the third place in a World Cup. An indisputable merit to which must be added the attractive of soccer proposal. It was not against England, where efficiency prevailed, where the most colorful of their games was seen. Two accurate counterattacks ended with the opposition of a British team that suffered certainty in the last meters. To the party for the third place Belgium came with more ambition. Gareth Southgate, another of the technicians who have raised the level of a selection plagued of failures in the last times as it is the English, changed his center of the field completely and this caused certain imbalances that made suffer to Pickford. The competitive and emotional level of the 'red devils' has grown in this World Cup to the point of not complaining to anyone. And in a game in which it was to evaluate the maturity at the time of fitting a heavy defeat, the combined of Martinez showed greater fortitude. Even that England tried, albeit hesitantly, to carry the weight of the meeting from the beginning. The conservative departure of the Belgians proved to be a well-planned ambush.

The Catalan coach wanted to surprise the race to a defense, the English, who suffers with spaces behind its back. It did not take long for De Bruyne and Hazard to find their ends to create the first goal. Chadli delved to the left and Meunier went to the penalty spot to beat Pickford. The goal did nothing but sharpen the parsimonious British rule. Those of Southgate accused the lack of understanding among their men from above. Sterling tried too many times an individual war that won no revenue. Pickford saved the second in a new counterattack that ended De Bruyne. That would be the constant in a first part in which the English persisted and the Belgians forgave. Lukaku enjoyed the two clearest after great assists from the City midfielder. The different registers available to Belgium allowed it to match the English pressure. De Bruyne grazed the second with a scissor from inside the area just after Kane sent out England's best option. It was needed to remove the Southgate wasp and the chosen ones were Lingard and Rashford. Their irruption would change the panorama in the second time.

Belgium's sin was its inability to sleep the match with long possessions. That made them suffers a constant siege of England, who did not tire of finishing over Courtois' goal. Alderweireld had to pull a ball over the line of lime after Eric Dier beat the goalkeeper with soft Vaseline. The one from the Tottenham was the axis on which the British built their offense. The constant lateral centers demanded the Belgian behind during most of the second half. Maguire appeared to finish everything, but never with success. In the middle of the British offensive came a virulent reaction from Belgium. Two counterattacks that deserved to endorse the sentence. In the first Pickford denied the goal to Meunier. In the second De Bruyne and Hazard allied to ridicule Phil Jones and finalize the duel. This couple will be, over the years, one of the best memories left by this World Cup. Roberto Martinez allowed them to shine with their own light and they responded by giving a quality leap to a team that has definitely lost the complexes. England is also in luck to improve its competitiveness, although this generation must confirm that it is capable of staying in the elite.

It is the first time that Belgium gets the third place in a World Cup. The 'Red Devils' won 6 of their 7 matches and only lost one match, with 16 goals in favor and 6 against. Its top scorer was Romelu Lukaku with 4 goals. England bid farewell to the soccer competition in fourth place, a place that repeats after 28 years, after the defeat in Italy in 1990 against the country 'Azurri'. Those led by Gareth Southgate won 3 games, lost 3 and tied one game, with 12 goals scored and 8 received. Harry Kane became the team's top scorer and, for the moment, remains with options to get the Golden Boot.