England beaten by Belgium in Women's Nations League


Alessia Russo of England shoots during the UEFA Womens Nations League match between Belgium and England at Den Dreef Stadium on October 31, 2023 in Leuven, Belgium. 

England's hopes of progressing in the Women's Nations League were dealt a huge blow after a late defeat in Belgium.

Belgium forward Tessa Wullaert scored two goals either side of half-time, including one from the penalty spot in the 85th minute, to inflict a second defeat in the competition for the Lionesses.

There was concern too for England defender Alex Greenwood who received lengthy treatment for a head injury before being taken off on a stretcher in the first half.

England were 1-0 down when Greenwood went off after Belgium centre-back Laura de Neve curled in a brilliant free-kick in Leuven.

Sarina Wiegman's side, clearly shaken by the injury to Greenwood, responded well with two superb goals from Lucy Bronze and Fran Kirby but Belgium drew level again before the break with a composed finish from captain Wullaert.

The Lionesses, who narrowly beat Belgium 1-0 in Leicester on Friday, had the better chances as Alessia Russo, Rachel Daly and Kirby all forced saves from goalkeeper Nicky Evrard, while Bronze had a goal-bound shot blocked by Janice Cayman.

However, Belgium's Wullaert was a constant threat and eventually scored the winner having been denied by England goalkeeper Mary Earps - who came fifth in the Ballon d'Or awards on Monday evening - earlier in the second half.

England, who must top their Women's Nations League group to have a chance of qualifying for the 2024 Olympic Games on behalf of Team GB, now have two decisive fixtures against the Netherlands and Scotland left to play in December.

Great Britain will head to Paris if nominated country England reach the Nations League final. However, third place will be enough if Olympics host nation France reach the final.

The Netherlands top Group A1 thanks to a 1-0 victory over Scotland in Tuesday's other match, while England sit third, three points behind.

Post a Comment

Please 🙏 engage and share this content

Previous Post Next Post