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Germany exit shows anyone is vulnerable England manager Gareth Southgate

28 June, 2018, 15:55 | Author: Delia Walker
  • Jordan Pickford

They now face Belgium, who have also made it through, on Thursday night and all that needs to be decided is the final placings.

But Southgate refused to entertain such a thought. We've not won a knockout game since 2006, so why we are starting to plot which would be a better venue for our semifinal is beyond me, really.

"We've got loads of friends who were umming and ahhing whether to come", he said.

"Indirectly, they've had a big bearing on what we're doing now, but in sport and in life you have to keep evolving".

England now sits ahead of Belgium in the standings, but that could change even if the teams draw, as England is in first due to the "fair play" tiebreaker, which scores teams based on yellow and red cards when goal differential and goals scored aren't enough to determine a victor.

"We want to win the game, that would mean we would top the group, and we play who we play in the next round", Southgate added. I would love my team to keep winning, keep winning, keep winning.

Despite a huge scare for Lionel Messi´s Argentina, who needed a late goal from Marcos Rojo to edge through to the knockout phase on Tuesday, all of the tournament´s remaining big guns are through to the last 16 in Russian Federation.




Argentina only booked their place in the knockouts in the dying embers of their final group game, against Nigeria, while European champions Portugal and 2010 winners Spain were far from convincing in Group A.

England manager Gareth Southgate pointed to Germany's shock World Cup elimination as a warning that every nation is vulnerable at Russian Federation 2018. The margins are so fine within the matches.

"The difference of just being on the pitch, being able to go away from the tournament [having played], because nobody remembers whether it was one minute or 50".

"There is a saying in football that you have to beat everyone to win it, but if you can avoid the major battles, you avoid them".

More than 2,600 tickets have been sold through the Football Association alone after the turnout for the opening game was believed to be England's lowest at a World Cup for 30 years.

"For a country like Denmark, getting out of their group is a great achievement, but there are other teams who have designs on actually winning the tournament".

When the England squad got out of bed today they had no idea if they will be playing Japan, Senegal or Colombia next week, but they will know their potential opponents when they kick-off in Kaliningrad at 7pm (UK time).

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