ENGLAND 2 BELGIUM 1: THREE LIONS BEAT WORLD NUMBER ONE
Updated: Oct 13, 2020
England came from a goal down at Wembley to beat world number one’s Belgium, thanks to goals from Marcus Rashford and Mason Mount.
England fell behind after Romelu Lukaku won and scored a penalty to put the Red Devils ahead inside 15 minutes.
Belgium were dominant in the first half, but a Rashford penalty and a deflected Mount strike either side of half-time helped England turn the tie around.
The win leaves England top of Nations League Group A2 at the halfway point.
England started the match without talisman Harry Kane, who came on from the bench after a straining week with Tottenham before the international break.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin filled in and got his second England cap after impressing against Wales on Thursday.
The away side entered the tie with several absences, as trio Eden Hazard, Dries Mertens and Thibaut Courtois all missed out.
England had lost their previous two against Belgium and started brightly, but the away side had the ball in the net early on.
Thomas Meunier was released down the right side and played a nice ball into Yannick Carrasco in the box who composed himself and finished well past goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who returned to the starting 11.
Then confusion arose as the goal was disallowed. Replays showed however that Timothy Castagne had been penalised for offside as he impeded Pickford’s view as the shot came in. No goal.
But five minutes later, they were ahead.
Lukaku drove at the England defence and was brought down by the retreating Eric Dier who mistimed his tackle completely.
The former Premier League striker smashed home the spot-kick to get his first Wembley goal in his sixth appearance at the ground.
Belgium seemed to be in cruise control for large parts of the first half, but five minutes before the break, the home side were level.
Henderson went down in the box under a challenge from Meunier as a corner was being swung in and referee Tobias Stieler pointed to the spot.
Up stepped Rashford who rifled his penalty into the bottom left-hand corner to level the scoring.
The goal meant it was the first time that both sides had scored a penalty in an England game at Wembley since 1951.
Belgium almost went back in front before halftime, but Carrasco couldn’t convert after Lukaku’s cheeky back heel played him in.
After the break Gareth Southgate’s side had a few half chances through Trent Alexander Arnold and Calvert-Lewin, but they completed the turnaround on 65 minutes.
Trippier headed the ball down to Mount who shifted the ball onto his right foot just inside the box.
The resulting shot took a wicked deflection off Toby Alderweireld and looped in at the far post over a stranded Simon Mignolet, who was in for the unavailable Courtois.
However, the lead was almost wiped not long after as Carrasco missed another great opportunity, Kevin De Bruyne this time the provider with an unbelievable pass to set the winger up.
Fans at home would’ve been tearing their hair out when Kane and Rashford both missed glorious chances to finish off the game late on, but Southgate and England hung on to get the three points.
Lukaku was brilliant on the night and was ‘messing the England centre-backs around’ at times, said Gary Neville.
But Man of the match was indeed Jordan Henderson who won the penalty and controlled the midfield well in the second half.
Both teams are back in Nations League action on Wednesday as England face Denmark and Belgium travel to Iceland.