England and Belgium to meet again in another meaningless match at the World Cup

England sad

Belgium and England will meet in the third-place match of the 2018 World Cup on Saturday.
It’s the second time the two teams have met at the tournament and the second time that the outcome of their match will be relatively inconsequential.
Unlike the Olympics, where winning third place comes with a bronze medal and some sense of accomplishment, at the World Cup it’s only a brutal reminder of how close you came.

Success at the World Cup comes in a variety of forms.

For some teams, just making the tournament is a historic achievement. Panama didn’t come close to winning a match at this year’s tournament, but fans celebrated like they were lifting the trophy after scoring the first World Cup goal in the country’s history. But, for 31 of the 32 teams that qualify for the World Cup every for years, the tournament ends in disappointment, and that’s especially true for the teams that lose in the semifinal.

While making the semifinal is an accomplishment for any team, losing just before the final and coming so close to glory is devastating. Making matters worse is the fact that while the teams have no way to win the tournament, they still must play one more match that’s essentially meaningless — the third-place match, which Belgium and England will compete in on Saturday.

In a funny turn of events, this will be the second time that Belgium and England face off at the 2018 World Cup, and the second time the outcome of the match will be met with relative indifference.

In the final match of the group stage of the tournament, Belgium and England had both already secured their advancement to the knockout bracket, with only their rankings left to be determined. Due to how the bracket was shaping up, it appeared as though neither team would want to win the match, as whichever team wound up winning the group would be placed into the “side of death” that was forming.

Belgium won that match, and did surprisingly well navigating the “side of death,” defeating Japan and Brazil en route to the semifinal before falling 1-0 to France. England wound up with the easier path, beating Colombia and Sweden before a disappointing showing against Croatia saw the …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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