Belgium 2 England 0: Three Lions KO'd from Nations League as Tielemans and Mertens strike despite Grealish shining again

UNLUCKY England were KO'd from the Nations League as group leaders Belgium hit a dodgy double to clinch victory inside the first 23 minutes.

Youri Tielemans's early deflected opener and Dries Mertens's free-kick defied an impressive Three Lions' display inspired by busy Jack Grealish.

Leicester midfielder Tielemans fired Belgium in front off Three Lions' centre-back Tyrone Mings in the tenth minute.

Napoli attacker Mertens then curved a dubiously-won free-kick over an England wall that was strangely flat-footed.

And for all England's cohesive, urgent approach play they failed to create much, save for a Harry Kane header cleared off the line by Romelu Lukaku.


Grealish maintained his lively form of Thursday's 3-0 Wembley win over the Republic of Ireland, looking so comfortable and confident in enjoying his ample possession.

And indeed the Three Lions dictated play after the break against a tired-looking Belgium side who performed well below their world No 1 status but defended admirably.

Lukaku wasted a fine chance from a rare flowing breakaway on 76 minutes.

And in the closing stages England struggled to match their earlier intensity as they slumped out of the tournament on skipper Kane's 50th international appearance.

The Three Lions had begun the night two points behind group leaders Belgium.

So defeat now means Wednesday's home tie with Iceland is of little consequence, other than enabling Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate to continue his tinkering without any more pressure.

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