Belgium ended England’s hopes of reaching the Nations League finals with a 2-0 win on Sunday while Italy edged closer to next year’s title shake-up.

Belgium were just five minutes from joining world champions France at next October’s finals when Iceland pulled level at 1-1 with group rivals Denmark in Copenhagen. However, a stoppage time penalty by Christian Eriksen gave the Danes a 2-1 win and kept alive their chances of pipping Belgium to top spot in Group A2.

Youri Tielemans and Dries Mertens scored the goals which gave world number one Belgium victory over Gareth Southgate’s England. Leicester midfielder Tielemans’s deflected effort went in off the post after 10 minutes.

Fourteen minutes later, Declan Rice was harshly punished for a challenge on Kevin De Bruyne just outside the area and Mertens curled the resulting free-kick perfectly over the wall to give Jordan Pickford no chance.

“We were always in control at 2-0, sometimes it can be dangerous, you feel comfortable but we defended Thibaut Courtois’s goal very well,” said Belgian coach Roberto Martinez.

A second consecutive defeat leaves England down in third place, five points adrift of Belgium, with just one game remaining.

“We don’t like losing, but enormous credit to the team, all the way through they created problems and...

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