KALININGRAD, Russia (AP) — In a match neither team had to win, Belgium came out on top and took first place in its World Cup group with a 1-0 victory over England on Thursday.
Adnan Januzaj scored with a curling shot in the 51st minute on a night of little tension or attacking intent.
With the victory, Belgium gets what appears to be an easier match in the next round against Japan on Monday in Rostov-on-Don. England will face Colombia on Tuesday in Moscow.
Both teams had advanced to the round of 16 before the match.
Although Belgium was the winner of the group, it might have the tougher road to the final with Brazil, Portugal, France and Argentina possible future opponents. If England gets past Colombia, it could face Spain, Russia, Croatia, Denmark, Sweden or Switzerland on its way to a possible final.
Belgium is one of only three teams to advance to the knockout round with 3-0 records from the group stage. Croatia and Uruguay are the others.
England and Belgium made a combined 17 changes to their starting lineups to rest players for the knockout round. Harry Kane, the leading scorer at the tournament with five goals, was on the bench for England. So was Romelu Lukaku, who has scored four for Belgium.
Rob Harris is at www.twitter.com/RobHarris and www.facebook.com/RobHarrisReports
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