Gary Cahill: Belgium game shows tougher standard at World Cup

Gary Cahill believes England’s defeat against Belgium will act as a reminder of the challenges ahead at the World Cup.

England progressed to the knockout stages as runners-up in Group G following the 1-0 loss in Kaliningrad, where manager Gareth Southgate made eight changes to his starting XI.

The Chelsea defender accepts England have been given plenty to think about, but insists they can still take momentum from previous group game victories over Tunisia and Panama into their last-16 showdown with Colombia in Moscow on Tuesday night.

“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.

“We made eight changes, nine if you include the substitution at half-time. Things were always going to be a little bit disjointed.”

The 32-year-old sees no reason the loss against Belgium, in which England captain Harry Kane was left on the bench, should put the Three Lions off course.

“It doesn’t derail us,” he said. “It won’t affect our momentum. It was disappointing to lose the game, but we have lost nothing.”

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Cahill added: “Colombia are a very good side, but it’s all ifs and buts isn’t it? It’s going to be difficult, but they will all be.

“It’s like any competition: The longer you stay in it, the less likely you’re going to dodge any big teams.”

Source.