England and Belgium battle it out for top spot in their group on Thursday as the remaining teams at the World Cup digest Germany´s astonishing exit from the tournament in Russian Federation.
As the minutes ticked away the players slowed to a walking pace in a farcical end to the match, with both sides settling for the status quo.
"We created openings to get something from the game, but we have to keep improving".
"What I've discussed with the players is we must not waste any energy thinking whether it's better to be first or second in the group, who we might play in future rounds", said Southgate. That is the reality, we have put ourselves in this situation, we wanted to qualify and we have done that.
After the game, Pekerman told reporters he was anxious about the condition of the 26-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Bayern Munich from Real Madrid, while also attempting to play down the situation given Colombia's qualification for the last 16. "It wouldn't authentic for what we've been trying to build for the last two years".
"It just shows that any team can be vulnerable", said Southgate, who more than most Englishmen has suffered at the hands of German footballers.
The victor of this match will come up against Japan in the next round, just to throw a bit of balance into the "better to finish second" debate. But they have played teams who have been tactically very good. They face the risky Colombia and will meet the victor of Sweden against Switzerland in the last eight if they come through.
In the other remaining first-round games on Thursday, Japan, Senegal and Colombia are all chasing the two qualification spots in Group H, with Poland out of the picture.
Southgate called the Colombia match England's "biggest game for a decade", so was comfortable defending himself when asked if he had a responsibility to fans and the tournament to have winning matches as his top priority.
Victory for either would see them top Group G, and Dier believes familiarity with numerous Belgians on Thursday could help England's cause.
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