Beyond that the path England are on seems less perilous with a potential quarter-final against Sweden or Switzerland, while Belgium would face Brazil or Mexico with heavyweights Portugal, Uruguay, France and Argentina also on their side of the draw.
Having said that, England have not won a knockout game since 2006 and winning their round of 16 game must be the priority, as Southgate reiterated in his press conference.
"I think the supporters in the stadium understood that as well".
"I believe in every player in this squad so it would be quite stupid for me not to believe in these players tomorrow". If they stay there after Thursday evening's meeting between the two sides, they will face Group H runners-up Japan.
Both have secured qualification to the knockout rounds and will play either Colombia, Japan or Senegal depending on the final results Thursday.
"All players with a yellow card and with minor injuries, they will not play".
If England go on to win that last-16 game, they will face the victor the last-16 tie between Group E winners Brazil and Group F runners-up Mexico in the quarter-finals.
If the two teams were level on yellow cards at the end of the game then they would draw straws to decide first and second, but Belgium's yellow-card count denied us all that novelty.
The best moment of the game, and possibly the tournament, went to Michy Batshuayi who celebrated his side's goal by kicking the ball into the post and wearing the rebound in the head. It's going to be hard, but they will all be.
England's Jordan Pickford is beaten as Belgium's Adnan Januzaj (not pictured) scores their first goal.
Their advance, though, came only after a risky gamble paid off.
"Everybody is in the frame to play in the next game and it was important these players were given time on the pitch to press their case. I don't think it is going to take any longer than that". We were not happy about the situation of course. The winners play July 7 for the right to go to the semifinals.
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez fielded Thomas Vermaelen at right-back after injury and sent on central defensive talisman Vincent Kompany near the end to complete a clean sweep with all 20 outfield players in the squad having played in Russian Federation.
"They are both world-class teams", said Nishino.
"If we put Harry on for 10 minutes and someone whacks him on the ankles that would be ridiculous", said Southgate when questioned why Kane, the tournament's top scorer with five goals wasn't even introduced from the bench.
But Belgium boss Roberto Martinez reportedly favours a second-place finish and is expected to rest players.
It saw Belgium take control of a match that England struggled to come back into.
But it was tough for Panama, making their first appearance in a World Cup finals, and for their fans in the Monrovia Arena who for a while could dream of a historic win.
Maguire, though, defended Southgate for backing his own convictions.
"I think we've got a good chance, just like England have - they're the two best teams in the whole competition".
In truth, neither side impressed once an open start tapered off.