Home ยป Mary Earps features as England Lionesses defeated in Belgium

Mary Earps features as England Lionesses defeated in Belgium

by Zoe Hodges

England Lionesses have lost 3-2 to Belgium in the Nations League, all but ending their hopes of qualifying for the Olympics next year.

The Lionesses are now third in their group having lost to the Netherlands and now Belgium.

England dominated the game seeing 73% of possession and having 17 attempts on goal compared to Belgium’s five but the hosts were more clinical.

The game was marred by the serious injury to Alex Greenwood which saw a 13 minute stoppage in play.

England started off brightly, controlling the ball well, but Belgium were sitting deep and the Lionesses had to be patient with their build up play.

Chloe Kelly gave away a free kick in a dangerous area early on, she was bullied off the ball and handled it when on the floor.

De Neve took it and Manchester United’s Mary Earps could not get across in time to keep it from nestling in the top corner.

After the delay following a nasty clash of heads between Greenwood and Blom, Bronze equalised with a looping header from a set piece before the returning Kirby put England ahead as Hemp pulled it back to her in the centre of the box.

Deep into stoppage time in the first half, Wullaert found herself through the middle of two England defenders and had the pace to shake them off, slotting it past Earps.

Earps had little to do in the first half. Except for the two goals they scored, Belgium had few chances.

Though England had dominated possession in the first half, they headed in all square at the break.

In the second half Belgium were much more organised and the game opened up. Wullaert came forward again and it took a superb save from Earps to keep the scores level.

England had chance after chance but they couldn’t find the target, former United star Alessia Russo dithered on a few occassions, afraid to shoot and when she did take a chance she found the side-netting, on more than one occassion.

A goal-line clearance denied the visitors in retaking the lead and though it seemed frantic in the box sometimes from Belgium they managed to clear their lines time after time and England were all out of ideas.

However, a chance for Belgium going forward saw a shot blocked by Stanway’s hand in the penalty area and the home side had an opportunity to take the lead.

Earps went the right way but Wullaert scored again.

For so long, under Sarina Wiegman, England have dominated with journalists and pundits viewing the side with rose tinted glasses but tonight they ran out of ideas of how to break Belgium down and let their guard down when their opponents had an opportunity to break.

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