Prime News Kenya

UEFA Nations League: England stun Belgium as France and Portugal play out stalemate

Posted By : Vincent Ashitey

England came from behind to overcome the world's top-ranked team Belgium and record an important Nations League victory at Wembley.

Belgium took a lead their early superiority deserved when Romelu Lukaku sent England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford the wrong way after the striker had been brought down by Eric Dier's poor challenge.

England were on the back foot for most of the first half but were handed a lifeline back into the game six minutes before half-time when captain Jordan Henderson went down very easily in a tussle with Thomas Meunier, Marcus Rashford scoring from the spot.

Gareth Southgate's side enjoyed much more possession after the break but needed a large slice of luck to take the lead after 64 minutes, Mason Mount's effort deflecting off Toby Alderweireld and looping over keeper Simon Mignolet to inflict Belgium's first loss since November 2018.

Meanwhile, Kylian Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo both failed to find a way through as the World Cup winners and European champions cancelled each other out in a 0-0 draw in Paris.

Juventus forward Ronaldo, 35, was quiet and remains on 101 international goals as Portugal were unable to repeat their Euro 2016 win at the Stade de France.

Mbappe, 21, fashioned France's best chance with some fine individual skill but saw his effort well saved by Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio.

The game was cheered on by around 1,000 France fans, who were loud throughout.

The high-quality Nations League match-up was a repeat of the Euro 2016 final at the same venue when Portugal shocked the hosts to take the trophy.

With France winning the 2018 World Cup and Portugal the first Nations League in 2019, these are arguably the best two sides in Europe but they produced little in the way of goalmouth action.

Ronaldo has not scored against France and had his best chance in stoppage time, forcing Hugo Lloris into a decent save with a stinging left-footed drive.

Veteran Portugal defender Pepe saw his header ruled out for offside while France's best chance came when Paris St-Germain forward Mbappe weaved past Danilo but was denied by Patricio.

Both sides are level on seven points in Group A3.

Results

Kazakhstan 0-0 Albania
R. of Ireland 0-0 Wales
Bosnia 0-0 Netherlands
Armenia 2-2 Georgia
Estonia 3-3 North Macedonia
Lithuania 2-2 Belarus
England 2-1 Belgium
Croatia 2-1 Sweden
Norway 4-0 Romania
Finland 2-0 Bulgaria
Poland 0-0 Italy
Greece 2-0 Moldova

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