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HomeFootballLast second: Bellingham saves England's draw against Belgium

Last second: Bellingham saves England’s draw against Belgium

England narrowly escaped a second home defeat in a row. Against Belgium, the home side faltered badly at the back and were wasteful up front – until Jude Bellingham came to the rescue

Rotation was the order of the day for England coach Gareth Southgate and his opposite number Domenico Tedesco after the recent tests. While the Three Lions wanted to follow up their 1-0 draw against Brazil with a home win, the Red Devils were looking to redeem themselves for a largely uninspiring performance in the 0-0 draw against Ireland.

And the visitors did indeed open the scoring at Wembley after just over ten minutes: Pickford allowed himself a momentous misplaced pass, which Tielemans punished to make it 1-0 (11′) – although it was only to last a few minutes. After a foul by Vertonghen on Toney, the referee pointed to the spot and the fouled player scored himself (17′). The first international goal for the Brentford FC striker

Tielemans and Lukaku punish England’s lapses

After Pickford made his first save against Doku (20′), Southgate’s team clearly took control of the game and pressed for a 2-1 lead. When Debast came within inches of scoring an own goal (26′) and Bowen’s debut goal for the Three Lions was disallowed for offside (27′), England were unlucky twice more before their own inability came into focus again.

Bellingham (20 goals in 28 appearances for Real Madrid), who has been so incredibly prolific for Real Madrid so far, missed a huge chance to score an almost overdue second goal (33′), before another defensive lapse put the Belgians back in front. Dunk was rattled by the breath of the onrushing Lukaku and gave the ball away, where “Big Rom”, as he is known on the island for his physicality and power, then showed his softer side: he stroked the ball with his left foot to Tielemans, who scored a brace to make it 2:1 at half-time (36′).

Bellingham lets the Three Lions breathe a sigh of relief after a flurry of chances

The second half, which England played without names on their shirts to draw attention to dementia, was initially dominated by the home side’s efforts to equalize. However, Toney (52) and Bowen (63), who both failed to beat Sels, and Bellingham (58) wasted the first opportunities to reward the Three Lions’ push. Mainoo, who was making his debut in the starting eleven, came closest to doing so, only to be denied once again by Sels (66).

The game flattened out somewhat in the closing stages. Although Gareth Southgate brought on Maddison, Gordon and Watkins in attack, this did not pay off for a long time. Only Foden had another chance (79′), after which it would take until stoppage time for the game to really pick up again: First, ex-Hertha man Lukebakio missed a great chance to decide the game after a counter-attack (90′). +1), before Bellingham’s last shot of the game in the 90th +5th minute prevented Belgium’s first win in England and prevented the Three Lions from losing two home games in a row for the first time since 2013 (0:2 against Chile and 0:1 against Germany).

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