England v Belgium - Panama v Tunisia

Gareth Southgate embraces Harry Kane as he comes off in the second-half

Gareth Southgate embraces Harry Kane as he comes off in the second-half

After a surreal night on the Baltic where England struggled to contain their satisfaction with a defeat that offers them an easier path to the final, Belgium are trusting that World Cup fortune will favor the courageous.

The result means England are already through to the last 16 ahead of what is essentially a play-off against Belgium on Thursday for who will progress as winners of Group G. They've played together for a long time, they've got some extremely experienced players even in the team tonight.

"Kieran was feeling a tiny twinge just towards half-time", Southgate said.

"But we feel that we're a team who are improving".

Should the Three Lions win their group, they know they will enter a half of the draw that already features France, Argentina, Uruguay and Portugal.

"Obviously Belgium have won, England have done well so far and they are going through to the next round".

"It's a tough one because we have players who need to be fit for the next stage", Crawford told Yellow Sport.

It was not just set-pieces that pleased Southgate in Nizhny Novgorod given his side's unerring response to his call for ruthlessness.

"In terms of penalties, we've been practising and going through strategies on them since March", Southgate said after Thursday's 1-0 group-stage defeat to Belgium.

"They have some outstanding individual players, they have a fairly clear pattern of play".

Projections suggest the team which finishes runner-up would enjoy a more gentle sequence of knockout fixtures - a prospect which the Belgians are reportedly keen on, particularly as they would also play their first knockout match in Moscow, where they are based.

"Whatever happens next week, that was the right decision as far as I'm concerned", he said.

"Before the World Cup started we faced four of the top 10 in the world, held our own and played very good football and kept clean sheets as well".

Only six of Belgium's 23-man squad have not played in England's Premier League but if the teams are holding back in Kaliningrad it will not be out of politeness.

"She's been a massive help to us when I was growing up, and hopefully we can see her as an MP again".

"He took the time out to come over and apologise for that, which for me was dead and buried, and I actually respected him a hell of a lot for doing that", Cahill said.

"To see them go out - I love it".

"You know, everybody will talk about Germany and Brazil scoring in the last minute, but we did that".

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