UNLUCKY England were KO’d from the Nations League by group leaders Belgium.
Youri Tielemans’s early deflected opener and Dries Mertens’s free-kick on 23 minutes defied an impressive Three Lions’ display inspired by busy Jack Grealish
Half the four-man England wall fails to get off the ground as Dries Mertens curves a free-kick to double the Belgium leadCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Skipper Harry Kane goes closest for England in the first half with a header that is cleared off the lineCredit: Rex Features
Youri Tielemans roars his approval at his tenth-minute opener for Belgium Credit: AP:Associated Press
Leicester midfielder Tielemans fired Belgium’s opener in off Three Lions’ centre-back Tyrone Mings in the tenth minute.
Then Napoli Dries Mertens curved a dubiously-won free-kick over an England wall that was strangely rooted to the ground on 23 minutes.
And for all England’s cohesive, urgent approach play they failed to create much, save for a Harry Kane header cleared off the line by Romelu Lukaku
Jack Grealish maintained his impressive form of the 3-0 win over Ireland, so comfortable and confident in havign ample possession.
And indeed the Three Lions dictated play after the break against a tired-looking Belgium side who performed well below their world No 1 status – but defended admirably.
Lukaku wasted a fine chance from a rare flowing breakaway on 76 minutes.
And in the closing stages England struggled to match their earlier intensity.
The Three Lions began the night two points behind group leaders Belgium.
So Wednesday’s home tie with Iceland now means little other than the chance for Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate to continue his tinkering without pressure.
FULL REPORT TO FOLLOW
Jack Grealish squeezes in a half-chance past Belgium defender Toby Alderweireld Credit: AFP or licensors
Boss Gareth Southgate sees England struggle to turn possession into goals, with Belgium chief Roberto Martinez watching onCredit: Reuters
Dries Mertens enjoys doubling the Belgium lead with a free-kick on 23 minutesCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans fires Belgium in front with a deflected shotCredit: AFP or licensors
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