Roberto Martinez admits his Belgium team were ‘too emotional’ as they surrendered a two-goal lead to lose to France… as he concedes his star-studded team were ‘desperate’ to finally win some silverware
- France staged a stunning comeback from 2-0 down at half-time to beat Belgium
- Yannick Carrasco and Romelu Lukaku put Belgium 2-0 up in the semi-final
- But Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe levelled the scores after the break
- Lukaku thought he had won late on but his effort was ruled out for offside
- Theo Hernandez then scored a stunning 90th-minute winner from distance
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez felt the weight of expectation had taken its toll on the world’s top-ranked team following their failure to reach the UEFA Nations League final.
Belgium blew a 2-0 half-time lead as France staged a thrilling fightback to secure a 3-2 victory in the semi-final on Thursday night.
It was another disappointment for a team who have struggled to live up to their billing as contenders in recent tournaments.
Roberto Martinez’s Belgium came up short again by failing to reach the Nations League final
‘It is the responsibility we feel to our fans and the way this generation wants to bring silverware in such a desperate manner,’ Martinez said.
‘In the second half, we were a little too emotional. Maybe we were thinking a little too much about the final, about qualifying. We didn’t do what we had to do. We let France come back.’
France showed they were still a force to be reckoned with as they claimed an impressive comeback win over Belgium after the shock loss to Switzerland in the Euro 2020 last 16.
Yannick Carrasco’s deflected effort opened the scoring for Roberto Martinez’s Belgium
The world champions, who struggled in consecutive draws against Bosnia and Ukraine before beating Finland in World Cup qualifiers, were on the ropes in the semi-final against the world’s top-ranked team when they trailed 2-0 at half-time.
But a spectacular reaction, culminating with Theo Hernandez’s last-minute goal, earned France a spot in Sunday’s final against Spain.
Lukaku thought he had won the tie late on but VAR ruled his effort out for offside
Theo Hernandez’s late winner sealed a spot for France in the Nations League final