The Three Lions have sealed their spot in next years UEFA Nations League knockout semi finals which are set to take place in Portugal in June.
With 5 minutes to go, Gareth Southgate’s men were staring relegation from League A in the face until England were saved by their World Cup hero and captain Harry Kane who’s goal sent Wembley Stadium into ruptures.
With two more wins in Portugal next summer, England could be looking to bring home their first trophy in senior men’s professional football since the 1966 World Cup. However, it may not appear as easy as it seems following the qualification of other strong footballing nations.
Portugal have confirmed their place in the tournament (and will also host all games) after topping a group with Italy and Poland. As hosts, they will feel the most confident to go on and clinch the inaugural Nations League Cup.
Switzerland thumped Belgium 5-2 in their final group game which resulted in them topping their group on goal difference. Iceland finished last with 0 points which resulted in their relegation.
The final spot will go to either World Champions France or newly revived Netherlands who need at least a draw in Germany today to beat the French to the top spot. Germany’s poor performances resulted in their relegation to League B.
England topping their group with Spain and Croatia came with a lucrative reward of £3m and are guaranteed another £1.5m for participation next summer. This would have meant that the English FA had accumulated £17m after their impressive World Cup and Nations League performances in 2018. Another £6.67m will be awarded to the winner of the final on the 9th June 2019.
Schedule for the inaugural Nations League knockout rounds
Portugal were named hosts as a result of finishing top of Group A3 above Italy and Poland who all placed bids to host the games. First place came with the reward of being hosts.
Estadio do Dragao (Porto) & Estadio D. Afonso Henriques (Guimaraes)
5 June 2019: 1st Semi-final
6 June 2019: 2nd Semi-final
9 June 2019: 3rd place play-off
9 June 2019: Final
The draw for the finals will take place on the 3rd December where England will find out their semi-final opponents.
All four finalists will play in smaller 5 team groups for the Euro 2020 qualifying instead of 6 meaning England will avoid playing one of the minnows of European football. England have also guaranteed a place in the Euro 2020 play-offs, a fallback in the event they fail to qualify for that tournament through the traditional route.