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België/Belgique/Belgien

 
1008

1005 vs. Belgium
 
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FINAL MEETING vs. BELGIUM
  Sunday, 15 November 2020
Nations League 2020-21 League A Group two match


Belgium 2 England 0 [2-0]
 

King Power at Den Dreef, Kardinaal Mercierlaan, Heverlee, Leuven
Kick-off (CET): 8.46pm 7.46pm GMT
Attendance: behind closed doors

Jans Vertonghen won the toss
93½ minutes 47:13 & 48:14
Jack Grealish kicked off after 'taking the knee' Match Summary
Belgium Squad
England Squad
[1-0] Youri Tielemens 10 9:06
 right-footed drive low to Pickford's left in off the post from a Lukaku lay-off
[2-0] Dries Mertens free-kick 24 23:59
 well-placed right-footed free-kick over the wall after Rice had fouled De Bruyne
 
   
Alex Witsel 44 43:10  
Toby Alderwiereld 51 50:17
Thomas Meunier 54 53:04
 
Commentator: Martin Tyler with Jamie Carragher

Match Summary

Officials from Netherlands Belgium

Type

England

Referee (light blue) - Danny Desmond Makkelie
37 (28 January 1983), Willemstad, Curaçao, FIFA-listed 2011
 
Assistant Referees - Mario Diks
, 43 (26 July 1977), and Hessel Steegstra, 42 (27 March 1978).
Fourth official - Allard Lindhout
, 33 (11 September 1987), Voorhout
UEFA Referee Observer - Markus Nobs
, Switzerland
UEFA Delegate - Rudolf Řepka
, Czech Republic

Black armbands worn in respect of the death of former goalkeeper, Ray Clemence earlier today.
Five substitutes are again permitted in the November-round of Nations League matches
8 Goal Attempts 16
3 Attempts on Target 3
0 Hit Bar/Post 0
1 Corner Kicks Won 5
0 Offside Calls Against 3
15 Fouls Conceded 8
45% Possession 55%

Belgium Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (22 October 2020) 1st
EFO ranking Group One (4th)
ELO rating 2nd
Colours: Made by Adidas - Red v-necked jerseys with broad black sashes, black/yellow trimmed collar/cuffs, black adidas side stripes, red shorts with black adidas side stripes, red socks with black adidas striped tops.
Capt: Jan Vertonghen Manager: Roberto Martínez Montoliu, 47 (13 July 1973, in Balaguer, Spain), appointed 3 August 2016.
fiftieth match, W 39 - D 7 - L 4 - F 149 - A 39.
Belgium Lineup
1 Courtois, Thibaut N.M. 28
188 days
11 May 1992 G Real Madrid CF, Spain 80 57ᵍᵃ
2 Alderwiereld, Tobias A.M. 31
258 days
2 March 1989 CD Tottenham Hotspur FC, England

103

5

Alderweireld was cautioned in the 51st min. for a Foul, after another challenge on Harry Kane just outside the penalty area.
3 Denayer, Jason G.M 25
140 days
28 June 1995 CD Olympique Lyonnais, France 19 1
5 Vertonghen, Jan B.L. 33
205 days
24 April 1987 CD Sport Lisboa e Benfica, Portugal 122 9
most apps
15 Meunier, Thomas 29
64 days
12 September 1991 RWB BSV Borussia 09 eV Dortmund, Germany

44

7

Meunier was cautioned in the 54th min. for a Foul, after another challenge on Jack Grealish just outside the penalty area. SUSPENDED
6 Witsel, Axel L.A.L. 31
308 days
12 January 1989 RM BSV Borussia 09 eV Dortmund, Germany

110

0

Witsel was cautioned in the 44th min. for a Foul, after a late challenge on Harry Kane
8 Tielemens, Youri 23
192 days
7 May 1997 LM Leicester City FC, England 33 3
10 Hazard, Thorgan G.F. 27
231 days
29 March 1993 LWB BSV Borussia 09 eV Dortmund, Germany 30 4
7 De Bruyne, Kevin 29
140 days
28 June 1991 RF Manchester City FC, England 77 19
9 Lukaku Bolingoli, Romelu M. 27
186 days
13 May 1993 CF FC Internazionale, Italy 88 55
most gls
14 Mertens, Dries, off 83rd min 33
193 days
6 May 1987 LF SSC Napoli SpA, Italy 93 21
scored the 34th direct free-kick against England
Belgium Substitutes
scoreline: Belgium 2 England 0
19 Praet, Dennis, on 83rd min. (82:20) for Mertens 26
175 days
24 May 1994 LF Leicester City FC, England 9 0
result: Belgium 2 England 0

unused substitutes:

4-Brandon Mechele, 11-Dodi Lukebakio, 12-Simon Mignolet, 13-Koen Casteels, 16-Thomas Foket, 17-Hans Vanaken, 18-Yari Verschaeren, 20-Christian Benteke, 21-Henri Delcroix, 22-Nacer Chadli, 23-Michy Batshuayi.

team notes:

Dries Mertens direct free-kick is the first Belgium have scored Kevin De Bruyne did so against Israel in October 2015

manager notes:

Roberto Martinez's fiftieth game in charge of Belgium, the first manager to reach this milestone for them since Guy Thys' first spell in charge from 1976 to 1989.

records:

Belgium have not lost at home since a 2-0 defaet to Spain in September 2016 (W19 D5).
Belgium's first goal ensured they became the tenth country to score thirty goals against England.
 
3-4-3 Courtois -
Alderwiereld, Denayer, Vertonghen -
Meunier, Witsel, Tielemens, Hazard -
De Bruyne, Lukaku, Mertens
(Praet)

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 30 years 61 days Appearances/Goals 72.6 11.1
 

England Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (22 October 2020) 4th
EFO ranking Group One (2nd)
ELO rating 10th to 11th
Colours: The Nike 2020 home uniform - White crew-necked jerseys with navy blue collar and side trim, navy blue shorts with pale blue side stripe, white socks.
Capt: Harry Kane
(28th captaincy, 25)
Manager: Gareth Southgate, 50 (3 September 1970), appointed caretaker manager on 27 September 2016, appointed as permanent manager on 30 November 2016.
48th match, W 28 - D 10 - L 10 - F 96 - A 37.
England Lineup
1 Pickford, Jordan L. 26
253 days
7 March 1994 G Everton FC 29     27ᵍᵃ
2 Walker, Kyle A. 30
171 days
28 May 1990 RD/RB Manchester City FC 52     1
4 Dier, Eric J.E. 26
305 days
15 January 1994 CD Tottenham Hotspur FC 44    3 1
12 Mings, Tyrone D. 27
247 days
13 March 1993 LD Aston Villa FC 6       0
3 Trippier, Kieran J., off 69th min. 30
57 days
19 September 1990 RWB Club Atlético de Madrid, Spain 24       1
8 Henderson, Jordan B. 30
248 days
17 June 1990 RM Liverpool FC 58 0 final app
2011-20
5 Rice, Declan 21
306 days
14 January 1999 LM West Ham United FC 12       0
15 Chilwell, Benjamin J., injured off 38th min. 23
330 days
21 December 1996 LWB Chelsea FC 12 0 final app
2018-20
the 52nd Chelsea player to represent England
7 Mount, Mason T., off 69th min. 21
310 days
10 January 1999 RAM Chelsea FC 12       2
9

Kane, Harry E.

27
110 days
28 July 1993

CF

Tottenham Hotspur FC 50 32 (9 2)

the 62nd player to reach this milestone
most capped Englishman at Tottenham
16 Grealish, Jack P. 25
66 days
10 September 1995 LAM Aston Villa FC 4       0
England Substitutes
scoreline: Belgium 2 England 0
20 Saka, Bukayo A.T.M., on 38th min. (37:45) for Chilwell 19
71 days
5 September 2001 LWB
/LB
Arsenal FC 3 2       0
1
14 Winks, Harry B., on 46th min. for Henderson 24
287 days
2 February 1996 R/CM Tottenham Hotspur FC 9 8       1
1
18 Calvert-Lewin, Dominic N., on 69th min. (68:54) for Mount 23
244 days
16 March 1997 RF Everton FC 5 3 2 (1) final app
2020
2
11 Sancho, Jadon M., on 69th min. (68:56) for Trippier 20
235 days
25 March 2000 RM BSV Borussia 09 eV Dortmund, Germany 17 9       3
8
result: Belgium 2 England 0

unused substitutes:

6-Michael Keane, 13-Nick Pope, 17-Ainsley-Maitland Niles, 19-Phil Foden, 21-Tammy Abraham, 22-Dean Henderson, 23-Jude Bellingham

team notes:

England wear squad numbers for the first time in a qualification match. In order to not reveal the starting XI.
Jordan Pickford and Harry Kane remain the only players to have played on all of England's Nations League matches, with Pickford starting them all.
Ben Chilwell was replaced in the 38th minute because of a back injury he received in a challenge.
England have not conceded two goals from outside the box since June 2017 against Scotland.

ranking notes:

This is England's second ever qualification match against the highest FIFA-ranked nation. Also, again, England's highest ranking in the fixture (4th vs. 1st).

records:

This is the 25th meeting against Belgium, making them the =10th most played against country.
They have also scored more goals against Belgium, 72, than they have any other non-Home Nation.
However, in the fourteen matches played in Belgium, this is the first time England have failed to score.
They were two down at half-time for the first time since Netherlands, August 2009.
England have now conceded 100 goals in the month of November.
Manager Gareth Southgate played against Belgium in the October 1999 friendly victory. He had been a squad member in the pre-World Cup Finals warm-up match in May 1998.
 
3-4-3(2-1)
(4-4-2 after 69 mins)
Pickford -
Walker,
Dier, Mings -
Trippier
(Sancho), Henderson (Winks), Rice, Chilwell (Saka) -
Mount
(Calvert-Lewin), Kane, Grealish

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 26 years 211 days Appearances/Goals 27.5    3.2 
 

    Match Report by Mike Payne

The England players wore black armbands in Belgium, after the news earlier in the day that former England goalkeeping legend, Ray Clemence had passed away.  The former Liverpool and Spurs custodian won 61 caps for his country, and he will never be forgotten as long as football is played.

This match was a strange one in many ways, with England dominating their hosts for long spells of the game, but never really looking likely to overcome two early goals from Belgium.  The worse possible thing that England needed was an early goal against them.  They had started quite well, with a good tempo to their play, but just as they were settling down a bad mistake by Eric Dier in the 10th minute, giving the ball away to Romelu Lukaku, led to the first goal.  Lukaku found Youri Tielemans who had time and space to fire in a shot which deflected off the foot of Declan Rice and Jordan Pickford’s fingers to go in off the post.

It was a bitter blow, made even worse by an immediate swift counter attack two minutes later, that led to two chances for England in a minute.  A fine move down the right just failed as a cross came in and Tobias Alderweireld made a brilliant block to save a goalbound flick by livewire Jack Grealish.  Then from the resultant corner, Harry Kane’s header beat Thibaut Courtois only for Lukaku to come from nowhere to make a fantastic headed clearance off the line.  It was ‘tear your hair out time’ for the England fans watching! 

Grealish then fired in a curler, which once again was blocked by a defender.  The blocking throughout by the experienced Belgian defenders was outstanding, so much so that Courtois was rarely extended.  If that wasn’t enough, the Belgians took a two goal lead in the 24th minute with only their second shot on target.  The Dutch referee made a poor decision to penalise Rice for a foul on Kevin de Bruyne on the edge of the England box, when the West Ham player clearly and cleanly won the ball.  The wall was formed but Dries Mertens curled a delightful free-kick over the defenders beating Pickford all ends up.

That second goal deflated England for a while and they needed to score next if they were to have any chance of topping the group with a win here.  There was a good rapport building between Grealish and Kane, and several times the pair created good chances.  Belgium could see the danger and repeatedly fouled the blossoming Aston Villa man.  One move between the pair set up a chance for Mason Mount in the 34th minute, but his shot was blocked by Jan Vertonghen.

England then lost Ben Chilwell to a back injury on 40 minutes with Bukayo Saka coming on to replace the Chelsea player. 

Just before the break Mertens spots Pickford off his line and hits a shot from the half-way line, but the ball sails harmlessly wide.  Then Axel Witsel is booked by the referee and Harry Kane shoots straight at Courtois, who pushes it away for a corner.  From the kick Mount should have done better with a header which went wide.

The first chance of the second-half fell to de Bruyne, but he scuffed his shot wide, whilst at the other end Alderweireld earned a booking for a foul on Kane to give England a free-kick on the edge of the box.  For some unknown reason Mount was entrusted with the kick, but he skied it high, wide and not so handsome.

In the 55th minute Thomas Meunier is booked for yet another foul on Grealish, the tally was mounting, but from the free-kick, Kieran Trippier also makes a hash of the opportunity.  A minute later and Meunier is very luck after he commits another nasty foul on Saka, but not even a free-kick was given, let alone a second yellow, which would have been deserved!  A series of fouls by the Belgians suggested that England were rattling them, but alas, the pressure could not be turned into goals.

With 20 minutes left Gareth Southgate sent on Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Jadon Sancho to try to inject some pace against the tiring home defence.  But the problem was Belgium already had the two goal lead, and they were quite content to sit on that and make England do all the work.  Ironically, in the 77th minute Lukaku almost grabbed a third goal, after a pass from de Bruyne found the striker clear.  But his shot was well blocked by Pickford and the ball was cleared.

England continued to have the best of this half and Kane, not giving up just yet, was still creating and having shots at goal.  In the 85th minute he poked in a shot from Saka’s cross only to see, once again, a desperate block by a defender, in this case his old Tottenham teammate Vertonghen.  Near the end both Witsel and Lukaku went close before the referee ended the game and England’s challenge in this competition.

Southgate’s young team had done very well, but that bad start and the unavailability of some star players unfortunately took its toll.  The only real shining light for England was in the performance of Grealish.  He really showed that he is made for this level.
        

Source Notes

TheFA.com
BBC Sport
Belgian FA
 
UEFA.com
Mike Payne - football historian and contributor
cg