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Hazard, Meunier bag bronze for Belgium

World Cup 2018
Hazard, Meunier bag bronze for Belgium

  • Meunier, Hazard strike to earn first World Cup medal
  • Podium spot marks Belgium's best-ever placing
  • England equal fourth they claimed at Italy 1990

Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard struck at either end of their Match for Third Place with England to secure bronze at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia - their best-ever performance at the global finals.

Belgium began superbly. Early pressure quickly turned into an early goal, with Meunier nipping in behind Danny Rose to tuck Nacer Chadli's cross past Jordan Pickford. Dominant and lively, they looked set to extend that lead until England regained their composure, dulling the incisive swipes of the Belgians' passing as the half wore on.

Gareth Southgate's side gritted their teeth and began to dominate possession either side of half-time, probing for openings in the final third. While these were not plentiful, they looked the more likely to score, though the spectre of a Belgian counter loomed throughout.

Eric Dier saw his cute, dinked effort hooked off the line by Toby Alderweireld in their best opportunity of the day, with Hazard sealing bronze on the break. Kevin De Bruyne slipped him in superbly and the final result was never in doubt as the Belgium captain tucked away assuredly.

Russia 2018: Belgium - England
1 / 25 Russia 2018: Belgium - England
1 / 25 Russia 2018: Belgium - England
Russia 2018: Belgium - England
1 / 25 Eden Hazard of Belgium celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal

14 Jul 2018

SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JULY 14: Eden Hazard of Belgium celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia 3rd Place Playoff match between Belgium and England at Saint Petersburg Stadium on July 14, 2018 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Photo by Lars Baron - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Getty Images

Eden Hazard of Belgium celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal

14 Jul 2018

SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JULY 14: Eden Hazard of Belgium celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia 3rd Place Playoff match between Belgium and England at Saint Petersburg Stadium on July 14, 2018 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Photo by Lars Baron - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Getty Images

Eden Hazard of Belgium celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal Eden Hazard of Belgium celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal

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