Saturday, November 28, 2020

England fails to qualify for Nations League finals

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Belgium has ended England’s hopes of reaching the Nations League finals as goals from Youri Tielemans and Dries Mertens earned the world’s number one ranked side a 2-0 win in Leuven on Sunday.

A second consecutive defeat in Group A2 leaves England down in third, five points adrift of Belgium, with just one game remaining.

Denmark’s late winner over Iceland means Belgium still needs a point when they host the Danes on Wednesday to secure their place in the Nations League semi-finals in October 2021.

England dominated for long spells after conceding twice in the opening 24 minutes, but failed to make it count with questions sure to be asked of Gareth Southgate’s insistence on a 5-3-2 formation.

Pressure will build on the England boss to switch to a system that accommodates more of his abundance of attacking options ahead of Euro 2020, where his side will largely enjoy home advantage.