MX23RW : Tuesday, March 19 09:03:20

Gareth Southgate: 'England World Cup loss to Belgium a game too far'

Southgate: 'WC playoff a game too far'
© Reuters
Gareth Southgate concedes that Belgium are "a better side" than England and believes that the World Cup third-place playoff loss was "a game too far" for the Three Lions.

Gareth Southgate has conceded that Belgium are "a better side" than England and believes that the World Cup third-place playoff was "a game too far" for the Three Lions.

England defied expectations to reach the semi-finals of Russia 2018, where they lost to Croatia, but could not end the tournament on a high note as the Red Devils ran out 2-0 winners in St Petersburg.

Thomas Meunier opened the scoring for Roberto Martinez's side on four minutes and a lethargic English outfit could not muster a response before Eden Hazard made sure of victory eight minutes from time.

"Belgium are a better side than us," Southgate told ITV Sport. "We had to play flat out. We had a day less to repair and recover. It was a game too far for us.

"Belgium are a top team and they will be thinking they should have gone further than they did. We caused them problems and pinned them back but they have players of the highest quality.

"Two years on, you look at the number of caps and age of squad for Belgium. This is their peak but we are nowhere near that and we knew that the whole way through."

The result sees England equal their second-best World Cup finish, the Three Lions also finishing fourth at Italia '90.


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Harry Kane reacts to a missed chance during the World Cup third-place playoff between Belgium and England on July 14, 2018
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
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9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
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13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914

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