Belgium's 10-pronged attack, Kane's open play struggles
Belgium cruised to their sixth victory in Russia, beating England 2-0 to secure third place at the World Cup. ESPN brings you the best numbers.
Nineteen of the 22 starters in the third-place match were all from the same league -- the Premier League in England. All 11 of England's starters ply their trade in England, as do eight of the Belgians. The only exceptions were Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian, China), Youri Tielemans (AS Monaco, France) and scorer of the opening goal Thomas Meunier (Paris Saint-Germain, France). Among the Premier League clubs, Tottenham Hotspur had the best representation with six players, two of them from Belgium.
A third-place match at the World Cup produced less than three goals for the first time in 44 years, with the last such occasion coming at the 1974 World Cup, when Poland beat Brazil 1-0 thanks to a winner from tournament top scorer Grzegorz Lato. The most goals scored in a third-place match since then also involved Belgium, when they last made the semi-finals in 1986, and were beaten 4-2 after extra time by France.
Belgium are just the third team in World Cup history to have had 10 different scorers in one single edition, emulating the feats of the France team of 1982 and Italy, the World Cup winners in 2006. Romelu Lukaku leads the Belgian scoring with four goals followed by Eden Hazard at three, while Thomas Meunier joins eight other players with one goal apiece. The only other goal scored by Belgium was a Fernandinho own-goal against Brazil in the quarterfinals.
Harry Kane did not manage a single shot on target in open play during the four matches after the group stages, creating just one in that time overall, with a goal from a penalty conversion against Colombia in the round of 16. Kane's weaning influence is apparent in a drastic reduction in his shooting efficiency since the first two matches that he featured in, against Tunisia and Panama. He scored five goals from five shots on targets (six shots in all) in those two matches, and got just the shot on target against Colombia from seven attempts after that. He still could win up with the Golden Boot, though, unless Antoine Griezmann or Kylian Mbabbe score a hat-trick in the final.
This was Belgium's sixth victory at this World Cup, a joint record for most wins in one tournament by a team not to have gone on to win the World Cup. They join three other teams to have achieved this feat -- Poland (1974), Italy (1990) and Netherlands (2010). Belgium are also the fifth team to have beaten the same opposition twice at a World Cup, joining West Germany (1954, against Turkey), Switzerland (1954, against Italy), Northern Ireland (1958, against Czechoslovakia) and Brazil (2002, against Turkey).
England are just the fifth team to have failed to score in a third-place match in World Cup history, with their shutout the sixth such occasion overall. Brazil failed to score twice (1974 and 2014), while the other teams are Yugoslavia (1962), Uruguay (1970) and Bulgaria (1994).