World Cup 2010
Match Reports

England 0 Belgium 0
King Hassan II International Tournament
Morocco - 29 May 1998

With this being England's last match before Hoddle is to pick his World Cup squad, there was much at stake for the players involved. Only a handful of England's first team players were named in the starting line-up giving the other players selected their last chance to claim a place in their coach's squad for France, due to be named three days later. In reality though only a couple of places will have been up for grabs at this late stage.

Sol Campbell became England's youngest captain since 1963, when the late Bobby Moore lead out England for a match against Czechoslovakia.

England began the game with a 4-4-2 formation. Rob Lee playing on the right was lively, but it was Gascoigne who created the play for England which almost ended in a goal. Middlesbrough's new signing spotted Les Ferdinand and made a superb pass to him, but the Tottenham Hotspur player was ruled offside. Gascoigne again delivered a good pass towards the end of the first half but his efforts came to no avail. Then, moments later Borkleman tackled Gascoigne leaving the England midfielder limping. On this note the first half concluded.

England made a few changes at half-time. Owen and Rio Ferdinand replaced the Neville brothers and the squad changed to a 3-5-2 system. Four minutes of the second half were played when Gascoigne signalled that he couldn't continue after his first-half injury. David Beckham took over from Gascoigne.

On the hour mark England came to life. Le Saux forced van de Walle to make a great save when he tried to break the deadlock. Merson also had a chance but was denied.

With time running out, Scifo almost stole a victory for Belgium in regulation time but it was not to be. The game was settled on penalties, England losing on the dreaded spot-kicks again. Now Hoddle's players have a few days to wait until they hear whether they have a ticket to France.


Martyn, G Neville (R Ferdinand 45 mins), P Neville (Owen 45 mins), Butt, Campbell (Dublin 76 mins), Keown, Lee, Gascoigne (Beckham 50 mins), L Ferdinand, Merson, Le Saux.
Subs Not Used: Walker, Batty, Sheringham, Shearer, McManaman, Scholes, Anderton.

Van de Walle, Deflandre, Van Meir, Verstaeten, Borkelmans, De Boeck, Verheyen (Claessens 62 min), L M'Penza, Goossens (M M'Penza 45 min), Scifo, Boffin. Subs Not Used: De Wilde, Staelens, Crasson, Leonard.

Match Details

Belgium Cautions: Van Meir, De Boeck
England Cautions: None

Referee: E L Arjoune (Morocco)

Attendance: 25,000