In the latest England news, Gary Cahill says Thursday’s 1-0 defeat to Belgium has provided the Three Lions with a good benchmark going into the last-16 stage of the tournament.
Expectation levels were growing amongst England supporters after back-to-back victories over Tunisia and Panama left the 1966 champions top of Group G ahead of the Red Devils clash.
Both sides made numerous changes at the Kaliningrad Stadium, with goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, defender John Stones and midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek the only English survivors from the 6-1 thumping of Panama.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane, who leads the tournament’s goalscoring charts with five and is the 6/4 favourite with William Hill to win the Golden Boot, was left on the bench alongside the likes of Jesse Lingard, Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling.
Chelsea defender Cahill was given a chance to shine but was unable to do anything about Adnan Januzaj’s second-half strike, as Belgium picked up a 1-0 win.
The 32-year-old centre-back, who is expected to be replaced for the next game, says the loss to Roberto Martinez’s men has acted as a warning to his side.
“The Belgium game was a reminder to us of the standard of teams we are coming up against from now on,” Cahill told the London Evening Standard. “No disrespect to Panama, but that was a different test.
“The way they [Belgium) moved positions and kept the ball – it was a good benchmark for what is to come.”