Cahill: Belgium reminded us of the level of opposition

England defender Gary Cahill admits the 1-0 defeat to Belgium on Thursday was a reminder of the quality of opposition they will face in the knockout stages of the World Cup.

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The Three Lions finished second in Group G, behind Belgium, after an Adnan Januzaj strike handed them their first defeat of the global showpiece in Russia.

Both sides made wholesale changes to their lineups, as they had already qualified for the last 16, and England manager Gareth Southgate also benched star striker Harry Kane for the clash.

Despite the weakened lineups, Cahill believes the game showed how hard it will be to make it deep into the tournament against some of the best players in the world. England will face Colombia in the last 16 and either Switzerland or Sweden in the quarterfinals, should they progress.

Cahill told Standard Sport: “The Belgium game was a reminder to us of the standard of teams we are coming up against from now on.

“No disrespect to Panama, but that was a different test. The way they 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 (Harry Maguire for John Stones). Things were always going to be a little bit disjointed.

“The first half was good, the second was a bit stretched but nevertheless we just move on to the knock-out phase. Now, this is the business end.”

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