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England out of the National League Finals on a Bittersweet Note

By webmanager, BBC 17th Nov 20 10:27 am

Dries Mertens was the first player to score a direct free-kick for Belgium since Kevin de Bruyne v Israel in 2015

 

As Belgium scored two goals, England’s dream of qualifying for the National League finals came crashing down.

Within 10 minutes, Belgium was holding the pulse of the game, and Dries Mertens boosted Belgium’s lead in a fantastic way. Gareth Southgate attempted to introduce Harry Winks during half-time for bringing a change in the dynamic of the game.

Youri Tielemans netted the first goal in 10 minutes, and the second one came from Dries Mertens at 24 minutes. However, England played the match better than the ones which they had won. Jack Grealish showed a spectacular display, as he moved into the centre.

Amid England’s defeat, the 25-year-old midfielder earned rave reviews. Southgate said, “I just thought he was outstanding and he should be delighted with the way he played.”

“Today was a great game to see him at that level and I couldn’t speak highly enough of his performance.”

Of course, Dries Mertens was precise and his free-kick was absolutely perfect. Belgium managed a victory, but Harry Kane had a few scoring chances in the second half. It leaves fans wondering if Southgate’s formation was clinical, but a few of the officials were not right.

Starting off the game with 6 defensive players, but the structure gave England to get a grasp over the game. Grealish and Mason Mount were playing together, and England could not make use of any outlet.

Belgium might have passed the qualifying test, but the match rewards the fans with – Grealish exhibiting his dynamic performance.

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