UEFA Nations League
England was defeated in Belgium 2-0. They lacked punch and efforts. The Three Lions were outplayed and dominated by the Red Devils in the first half conceding 2 quick goals in the first 25 minutes. England’s hopes to reach to the Nations League finals washed away with a second consecutive loss in the group. The group as it stands:
Belgium – 12 points
Denmark – 10 points
England – 7 points
Iceland – 0 point
The group final will be played in between Denmark and Belgium with the Belgians the heavy favorites. Gareth Southgate’s side conceded as many goals as they had in nine previous matches. Captain Harry Kane made his 50th appearance for his country, narrowly failing to add to his record 25 England goals in games when starting as skipper.
Gareth Southgate, England coach:
“They’re [Belgium] a top side and we knew some of the questions they would ask us down the side of our defensive block.
“But to answer those questions is more difficult, in terms of their runs and overloading us in wide areas, which leaves our players with so much decision making.
“They caused us problems with that, and we didn’t retain the ball well enough and were slow to move the ball up the pitch and we didn’t ask enough questions of them.
“You can’t just play with the ball, we can be a free-flowing attacking team as we know, but against the best, how you defend as a team has got to be bang on and in the second half we got that right.
“The players can take heart from that performance. We know we’ve got loads we can get better at and we won’t be carried away by this win as we’ve got to back it up against Iceland now”
Roberto Martínez, Belgium coach:
“It is the perfect present for my 50th game as a head coach for Belgium. We started the game very well but had some difficulties in the second half. Now we have to complete one more hurdle by earning three points in Leuven next Wednesday.”