Spurs Bale, Kane Headline on Final Day of Internationals

CARDIFF, WALES - NOVEMBER 18: Wales captain Gareth Bale of Tottenham November 18, 2020 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - NOVEMBER 18: Wales captain Gareth Bale of Tottenham November 18, 2020 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) /

The international break came to an end Wednesday after a handful of matches, which included performances from Tottenham players Bale and Kane among them.

After a week of international fixtures, with Tottenham Hotspur contributing more than their fair share of participants, the international break ended on Wednesday.  As players finished up their service all across Europe, Tottenham’s South American contingent finished games yesterday, everyone should be back at N17 sometime Thursday.

This was the final round of Nations League games where a couple nations were looking to punch a ticket to the Final Four – Belgium or Denmark –and another was looking to get promoted to the A Group – Wales. The Republic of Ireland, and England also played, but they could neither advance nor be promoted. So how did things go for the participating Spurs and their countries?

Who Goes to the Final Four?

On Tuesday, two Spurs – Hugo Lloris and Moussa Sissoko – punched their tickets to the Nations League Final Four with their win over Sweden. Today, it was Toby Alderweireld and Belgium’s turn to try and do the same thing.  Across the way from Toby Alderweireld was his fellow Tottenham teammate Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Denmark looking to win and advance themselves.

Belgium scored within the first three minutes but were pegged back by a nice cross and header finish. A Romelo Lukaku brace put Belgium comfortably in control until a Nacer Chadli own goal made things closer than the Red Devils would have liked at 3-2. The OG was really Thibaut Courtois’ fault as he failed on an attempt to control a relatively routine back-pass from Chadli.

A late Kevin De Bruyne goal put the game out of reach for Denmark and sent Belgium into the Final Four to join France, Italy, and Spain. As for Højbjerg, he likely will want to see Spurs trainers when he gets back, as he was on the business end of four of Belgium’s 12 fouls.

Tottenham Trio Earn Promotion

The other game with any real implications to it was Wales versus Finland, with the Welsh looking to earn promotion into Group A for the rest iteration of the Nations League. An early through ball picked up by Harry Wilson put him behind the Finland defense, which prompted Jere Jujani Uronen to pull him down and receive a straight red card as the last defender.

While it then took a little while for Wales to finally unlock Finland, they did so and dominated the match taking 22 shots to the Fins eight. Wales had more shots on goal than that, with 10. It was Gareth Bale who found the pass that ultimately unlocked Finland. Bale fought to control the ball near the top of the box. As he held off the defender, he was able to slip a little short through ball between two more defenders to Wilson, who finished for the 1-0 lead.

From there, Wales continued to dominate and scored a second just after the break. While Finland did pull one back, a third from Wales with just over five minutes to go ended any hope for a Finland comeback. Besides the assist, Bale got off four of the 22 shots and only played just over an hour, leaving the pitch at 61 minutes. A solid hour should have Bale in great shape for Tottenham Saturday versus Manchester City.

Fellow Spur Joe Rodon played the full 90 minutes, which he probably needs given his overall lack of playing time since arriving at Spurs. Joe was all over taking a shot, setting up shots, getting fouled and of course committing a couple fouls too. As for Ben Davies, like his counterpart in Spain Sergio Reguilón he got the night off and was not even in the team.

Other Matches and Players

England played what amounted to a friendly with Iceland as England could not advance regardless and regardless of outcome Iceland was being relegated to Group B for the next Nations League. Eric Dier played a full 90 minutes for England between Harry Maguire and Kyle Walker.

Kane played about 75 minutes and maybe had an assist on the Mason Mount goal. Kane fought in the air for the ball and then maybe touched it as he tried to bring it under control. Ultimately, that ‘touch’ brought the ball directly in front of Mount who was facing goal and finished from there.

Harry Winks played the last 25 minutes coming on for Mason Mount. Winks did get another assist as he and Phil Foden did a little takeover play for the last goal of the match. That gives Winks a couple of assists and an appearance in all three of England’s games, which will hopefully help his confidence as he battles Moussa Sissoko for time opposite Højbjerg at Tottenham. Here are some highlights of that assist.

Troy Parrott made a late cameo for the Republic of Ireland, playing the last five minutes. It was long enough for Parrott to be flagged for offside, but that was about it. The point in the draw ensured Ireland remain in Group B next season. While we wanted at least 25 minutes for Parrott, five minutes at the senior level will hopefully help jumpstart his club season. Finally, Gedson Fernandes played just over an hour in Portugal’s U-21 win over the Netherlands.