World Cup: How Belgium and England match up in the third-place game




Where: St. Petersburg

Time: 7 a.m. PDT.

TV: Fox, Telemundo.

The buzz: This is a game neither team wanted to play but both now feel it needs to win. “These players deserve to finish on a high,” said Belgium coach Roberto Martinez, whose team won its first five games but would go home with a two-game losing streak without a win Saturday. “Obviously we’d rather be in the Sunday game,” England captain Harry Kane said. “But we’re going to try to keep the country proud. We’re going to try to go out on a high.” Kane has some personal business to attend to as well since he leads the race for the Golden Boot with six goals. Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku is his nearest pursuer with four. Each team has played in a third-place game once before, with England losing to Italy in 1990 and Belgium falling to France in extra time four years earlier. “If we can finish third, it’s the best-ever result at the World Cup for Belgium,” said Belgium defender Vincent Kompany. Both coaches are likely to use the game as a sendoff for some aging but iconic players. For Belgium, defenders Thomas Vermaelen, Kompany and Jan Vertonghen will all be at least 35 when the next World Cup rolls around while on the England side, defender Gary Cahill could be playing his final game for the national team at 32. He’s appeared in just one match in Russia. “I don’t quite understand the game in some aspects,” Cahill said of the consolation final. “It’s a very strange game. But nevertheless it’s a fixture. The game’s there and we need to play it.” Belgium and England also met in group play in this tournament with Belgium winning 1-0 on Adnan Januzaj’s goal early in the second half.

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