It was a fascinating scenario to experience defeat.
"(Adnan) Januzaj is ad *** head" roars of parts of the traveling Red Devils contingent on the streets of Kaliningrad as their potential future fate against Brazil, France, Argentina and Uruguay – to name just four – were sealed.
It seemed Roberto Martinez was out to miss the top to make a "lighter" route to the final, with second place on July 1
As a Belgian fan immediately after the epitome of a dead rubber claimed, he looks probably for positive results before a now very tough selection of games: "To win the World Cup, you have to beat the best."
Whether that proves to be correct, as was the case with Portugal, which did not win a victory in regulatory time two years ago at the European Championship, remains to be seen, although the Red Devils certainly have no choice but to stick to this philosophy now.
England, on the other hand, was able to avoid the semi-final after losing to a truly international football force.
Colombia in the round of 16, Sweden or Switzerland are waiting for the winners and Spain, Denmark, Croatia or Russia, one of which will advance to the last four, is all the Three Lions between their first World Cup final in 52 Years ago.
On Thursday alone, this balance will continue to Qatar in 2022, but in reality, overall performance was of little relevance to Gareth Southgate. Neither side seemed interested in exploiting their full potential.
But should any concerns that arise from England's lackluster performance be ignored?
The Three Lions boss would be naïve to overlook Jordan Pickford's goalkeeping error, which allowed Januzaj to find the upper corner or lack of air threat without Kieran Trippier's standard victory.
Probably the total bluntness of his forward line as Harry Kane watched from the sideline, particularly Jamie Vardy's utter inefficiency, was not just due to the lack of significance for the contest.
And while such like Fabian Delph and Eric Dier had moments, their inclusions only underscored the importance of Jordan Henderson in England's strongest XI.
However, it is difficult to judge England's performance against Belgium too critically. As already mentioned, defeat this summer could turn out to be a crucial aspect of success.
However, when the Three Lions take on Moscow in Moscow on Tuesday in Moscow, the mood will be similar to that in Kaliningrad. Instead of opening the first 45 minutes against Tunisia and Panama, they will once again say goodbye to a big tournament that has not yet reached its full potential.