England held in six-goal thriller by Germany

…as Italy pip Hungary to spot in Nations League finals


England were denied a dramatic win after a late error by goalkeeper Nick Pope halted a superb comeback and gifted Germany an equaliser in the UEFA Nations League clash at Wembley.

In a game of fluctuating fortunes, Germany looked on course for victory as two bad mistakes from the hapless Harry Maguire put Hansi Flick’s side in control, reports the BBC.

England manager Gareth Southgate has remained fiercely loyal to the defender despite his struggles at Manchester United but the decision backfired badly.

Maguire lost possession then brought down Jamal Musiala to concede the penalty from which Ilkay Gundogan gave Germany the lead seven minutes after half-time then lost the ball and was left out of position as Chelsea’s Kai Havertz curled in a superb second after 67 minutes.

England were facing a third successive defeat but showed great character and resilience to turn the game around and move within sight of what would have been a morale-boosting win in the last game before the World Cup in Qatar.

Luke Shaw pulled one back then a superb equaliser from substitute Mason Mount and a Harry Kane penalty, given after a foul on Jude Bellingham by Nico Schlotterbeck, looked to have capped an unlikely fightback in the space of 12 minutes.

Sadly for Pope, hoping to stake his claim as deputy to first choice Jordan Pickford, he fumbled a routine shot from Serge Gnabry with three minutes left, leaving Havertz to pounce and condemn England to their worst run of results since 1993.

And Italy pipped Hungary to a place in the Nations League finals with an assured win over the hosts in Budapest.

Marco Rossi’s Hungary side had gone into the fixture at the Puskas Arena only needing a draw to reach the last four of the competition.

However, a defensive lapse allowed Giacomo Raspadori to roll the ball into an empty net and put Italy ahead.

Federico Dimarco sealed victory for the European champions after the break when he tapped in Bryan Cristante’s cross.

The result means Italy finish top of Group A3 with 11 points from six games, one point above Hungary, with Germany third and relegated England in fourth.

It also marks Italy’s first win in Budapest since 1996 and while goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was called upon to make several excellent late saves, Roberto Mancini’s side were worthy winners.

Italy, who failed to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar, join Croatia and the Netherlands in next June’s finals tournament, with Spain and Portugal set to meet in Braga on Tuesday for the last available spot.


England 3 – 3 Germany

Hungary 0 – 2 Italy




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