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Home   /   Belgium 2-0 England: AS IT HAPPENED

The two favourites in Group A2 of the UEFA Nations League face off tonight as Belgium play host to England at Den Dreef.

The Red Devils will be looking to get revenge on England who beat them in the corresponding fixture at Wembley Stadium last month.

Gareth Southgate is set to hand Jack Grealish his first competitive international start following his impressive display on Thursday in England’s friendly win over the Republic of Ireland.

The Three Lions can leapfrog Belgium into top spot in the group with a win tonight in Leuven. 



England get us underway at Den Dreef.

2 mins: Harry Kane shows good strength to shrug off Axel Witsel and get a shot away from just outside the box, but it rolls a few yards wide of the post.


Youri Tielemans fires the hosts in front with a deflected strike from range that clips the post on its way in. The move starts with Eric Dier carelessly giving the ball away to his ex-Spurs colleague Jan Vertonghen while trying to play out from the back. Just the start the hosts would have wanted.

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11 mins: England nearly hit back straight away. Kieran Trippier whips a wonderful delivery into Grealish who’s volleyed effort is deflected out for a corner by Toby Alderweireld. Important intervention from the Spurs defender.

12 mins: Close. Kane adjusts his body well while off balance to produce a good header on goal from the resulting corner but sees it cleared off the line by Romelu Lukaku. One striker denies the other.

15 mins: England have responded well to going a goal behind. They’ve looked dangerous every time they’ve gone forward in these last five minutes. The game has suddenly sprung into life after a dull opening 10 minutes.

22 mins: Belgium have a free-kick in a very dangerous area after Declan Rice catches Kevin De Bruyne on the edge of the box with a clumsy challenge.


Dries Mertens curls the ball up and over the wall, and beyond the reach of Jordan Pickford to double Belgium’s lead. Exquisite technique from the 33 year-old. That is how you take a free-kick.

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27 mins: Kane sends in a dangerous looking cross from the right-hand side which goes all the way through to Ben Chilwell at the back post. The Chelsea man’s attempted cut back is then cleared away by Alderweireld.

34 mins: Grealish cuts the ball back for Mason Mount who does well to get in front of his man, but smashes the ball well over the bar on the volley.

35 mins: Chilwell is down and receiving treatment from an England physio. He appears to be holding his lower back.

38 mins: After attempting to play on for a minute or so, Chilwell has had to come off. Bukayo Saka has come on in his place.

43 mins: Witsel is shown a yellow card for a late challenge on Kane, and will subsequently miss Belgium’s final group stage match against Denmark.

44 mins: Kane manoeuvres himself a bit of space inside the box to get a shot away, but it’s saved behind for a corner by Thibaut Courtois.



Belgium head into half-time two goals to the good against an England side who have been toothless in attack. Apart from a five minute spell after Belgium’s opening goal, the Three Lions have lacked penetration going forward and look void of ideas. Belgium haven’t created too much themselves but they’ve been clinical with the chances they have carved out. The visitors have it all to do in the second-half.


Belgium get us back underway in Leuven. Harry Winks has replaced Jordan Henderson for the away side.

47 mins: England once again sloppily give the ball away when trying to play out from the back – Walker is the suspect on this occasion. De Bruyne pulls his resulting effort well wide of the mark to the relief of the visitors.

51 mins: Kane is pushed to the ground just outside the box by his Spurs teammate Alderweireld, who goes into the referee’s book for the challenge. England have a free-kick in a really promising position here.

52 mins: Mount sees his free-kick sail well over the bar. Wasteful.

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53 mins: Grealish draws a foul from Thomas Meunier who receives a yellow card, and joins Witsel in missing Belgium’s game against Denmark. Another free-kick in a dangerous area for the away side.

54 mins: Trippier is unable to replicate his free-kick against Croatia at the World Cup which sent the nation into raptures. Instead, he smashes the wall.

57 mins: Mount produces a clever flick to find Kane in the box. Under pressure from converging Belgium defenders, the England captain is forced to get his shot away quickly but is unable to get the ball out of his feet properly. Comfortable save for Courtois.

63 mins: Ouch. Trippier hits the deck after being caught in the face by Thorgan Hazard’s flailing boot.

65 mins: Trippier is back on his feet and play continues.

69 mins: A couple of changes for England as Trippier and Mount make way for Jadon Sancho and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

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72 mins: Sancho appears to be playing as a wing-back. Interesting.

77 mins: Lukaku holds the ball up well and then plays it around the corner for Mertens. The Napoli man pulls it back for Lukaku who’s shot is comfortably saved by Pickford.

78 mins: That is an outrageous turn by Grealish in the middle of the park to get away from Meunier. What a piece of skill from a man who is really enjoying himself out there. Everything England have done in this second-half has gone through the Aston Villa man.

83 mins: Dennis Praet replaces Mertens for the hosts.

85 mins: Saka attempts to cut the ball back for Kane, but Vertonghen sniffs out the danger well. Solid challenge from the Belgium captain.

90 mins: There will be three minutes of added time. The Belgians are still standing strong at the back.

90+1 mins: Lukaku cuts inside Dier and fires a shot from the edge of the box several yards wide of the post following a sweeping counter-attack by the home side.



England are knocked out of the UEFA Nations League as Belgium claim a 2-0 victory over the Three Lions on home soil with goals from Tielemans and Mertens. The hosts barely had to get out of second gear against an England side who failed to really stamp their authority on the game. Grealish was superb in the second-half in particular, but the visitors didn’t really deserve anything from the game overall. This result sets Belgium up with a top of the group showdown against Denmark on Wednesday to decide who wins the group, while England’s focus now turns to EURO 2020.

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June 2024