Group winners Belgium may well be kicking themselves in a week’s time.

What Happened

A vapid affair in Kaliningrad saw Belgium trump the Three Lions, 1-0. Roberto Martinez has Adnan Januzaj to thank, following a belter of a strike from the youngster once touted as a future England star.

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Tunisia garnered some respect with a hearty come-from-behind, 2-1 win over Panama, but the Eagles of Carthage still became the fifth and final African nation to fail to progress from the group stage.

Stand Out Performers

Januzaj proved to Belgium that he could be trusted to deliver in the knockout matches, albeit off the bench, after a tremendous match against England. The 23-year-old was dangerous throughout, terrorising Danny Rose down the right.

Wahbi Khazri was a shining light for Tunisia in an otherwise disappointing World Cup. A man-of-the-match performance for the Rennes forward included four key passes, an assist and the game-winner; a fitting way to exit Russia for one of the country’s best players.

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Talking Points

Did England want to lose this match? It certainly seemed so for large portions of the encounter, where Gareth Southgate’s side seemed happy to be second to the ball on plenty of occasions. In doing so England avoided a side of the draw stacked with powerhouse footballing nations, though Harry Kane and co. will need to negotiate Colombia first.

What it Means

Belgium will head into their clash against Japan in the Round of 16 as heavy favourites, though their tantalising potential Quarter Final clash against Brazil would easily fit the bill for a Final.

England now face an exciting Colombia side, potentially without James Rodriguez. If they win, a match against Switzerland or Sweden awaits in the quarters.

For Panama and Tunisia, it’s time to go home, reevaluate and do it all again for Qatar in four years’ time.

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Needs Work

ENGLISH FANS. Twitter accounts voiced anguish and displeasure, particularly as supporters belted out their altered rendition of Earth, Wind & Fire’s September at LEAST 20 times.

FIFA’s fair play tiebreaker also comes under scrutiny, after it came to light that it gave teams the ability to stay in control of their own destiny through the accumulation of yellow tickets.

Goal of the Day

Adnan Januzaj. Magnifique!

 

Miss of the Day

Michy Batshuayi. Comédie!

 

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Adelaide-based writer, content creator and story-teller. Like one of those determined ants that require a second flick.