England 0-1 Belgium
What an absolutely dreadful game of football. With both England and Belgium already qualified, there was little at stake in this one, indicated by both teams playing weakened lineups. To make things even worse, surprising results elsewhere meant that the second placed finisher in this group would have avoided Brazil in the quarterfinals. To some, that meant that it would have been more sensible to lose today. Others may have wondered whether either of these teams should have been so dismissive of Colombia in the round of 16.
Anyway, on to the actual football. Phil Jones and Marcus Rashford both made starts for England’s B team, lining up against Manchester United’s like-a-new-signing Marouane Fellaini on the other side. The first half was utterly pointless, with the only action of note being the yellow cards that Belgium picked up to surge ahead (behind?) in the fair play table.
After the break, Manchester United academy product Adnan Januzaj scored the opener - and eventual winner - with a pearler of a strike. Januzaj cut inside of reported United transfer target Danny Rose (no thanks) and curled his shot past Jordan Pickford.
Marouane Fellaini looked competent enough for Belgium over the course of the match, occasionally making a nuisance of himself in England’s box. Phil Jones similarly managed to make it through 90 minutes without making a Phil Jones of himself. Marcus Rashford, perhaps the one United player on the pitch for these shadow teams with a real chance of competing for starting spot in the knockout rounds, had a few attempts in the second half, but overall failed to make much of an impression.