It was Belgium who came out on top in the battle to win Group G, albeit second rate tussle with mutliple stars rested.
An Adnan Januzaj strike was the sole bit of magic on show in Kaliningrad in a 1-0 victory.
Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford led the England line with Harry Kane given the day off to rest his potential ‘golden boots’. Their pace was a threat to Belgium but in all truth, they were pretty assured in dealing with England.
Gary Cahill headed a corner wide, their sole opportunity of the half. Whilst Johm Stones cleared off the line at the other end after a tangle between Jordan Pickford and Michy Batshuayi.
As many were whispering, second place may have been the salvation for either side, making the changes more obvious and as the game wore on, there was a lack of risk.
Almost like they knew the perils of winning Group G, with a quarter final against Brazil now awaiting Belgium.
Januzaj struck in the 51st minute, gliding past Danny Rose and curling it past Pickford.
Rashford and England’s golden chance, through one-on-one, Tibo Courtois got a fingertip to divert wide, but Rashford should’ve buried it.
No sign of Kane and Belgium eased to victory. The majority of the ‘Barmy Army’ will carry on singing with their wish of the favourable route granted, can England capitalise now?
Elsewhere, Panama fell to a 2-1 defeat to Tunisia.
A Yassine Meriah own goal set off wild celebrations in the Panama end, a moment they’ll never forget.
But two second half goals, including one from Sunderland outcast Whabi Khazri meant Tunisia had three points to take home.
Belgium face Japan on Monday, whilst England take on Colombia on Tuesday evening as the knock-outs begin this weekend.