England vs Belgium: Lionesses lose 3-2 in Nations League setback
In England vs Belgium, the England team suffered a disappointing 3-2 defeat to Belgium in the UEFA Women’s Nations League on Monday, leaving their hopes of reaching the finals and qualifying for the 2024 Olympics hanging in the balance.
The Lionesses trailed early on to a Laura De Neve free-kick, but Lucy Bronze and Fran Kirby scored in quick succession to turn the game around. However, Belgium captain Tessa Wullaert equalised just before half-time and scored the winning goal from the penalty spot in the 85th minute after Georgia Stanway was penalised for handball.
In England vs Belgium, the England’s defeat leaves them third in Nations League Group A1, one point behind Belgium and three points behind the Netherlands in the UEFA Women’s Nations League. The Lionesses will need to win their remaining two matches, against Scotland and the Netherlands, and rely on other results going their way if they are to qualify for the Nations League finals and the 2024 Olympics.
England vs Belgium match highlights:
- 9 minutes: Belgium take the lead through a Laura De Neve free-kick.
- 38 minutes: Lucy Bronze equalizes for England with a header.
- 44 minutes: Fran Kirby gives England the lead with a side-footed finish.
- 45+6 minutes: Tessa Wullaert equalizes for Belgium just before half-time.
- 85 minutes: Georgia Stanway is penalised for handball, and Wullaert scores the winning penalty for Belgium.
Key statistics of England vs Belgium match:
- Possession: England 62% – 38% Belgium
- Shots: England 15 – 10 Belgium
- Shots on target: England 8 – 5 Belgium
- Corners: England 7 – 1 Belgium
Belgium captain Tessa Wullaert: “It’s a great victory for us. We knew it was going to be a tough game, but we fought hard and deserved to win.”
England manager Sarina Wiegman was visibly disappointed with the result after the match: “We didn’t do it good enough today. They scored three goals and we scored two,” she said. “This was a game I think we should have been tighter on the ball. The tempo wasn’t great. We did create lots of chances, we dominated the game totally.
“We lost the ball and they were gone on the counter-attack. It was us that made it hard. They played top and played very compact. It’s something we have to get out of our game. We have to do better in the final third. We were sloppy on the ball and they were ready for that. They play their long ball and they are gone. We didn’t do it good enough today.”
The match was overshadowed by a serious head injury to England defender Alex Greenwood, who was stretchered off in the first half after a clash with Jassina Blom. Greenwood is conscious and talking, but it is unclear how long she will be out of action.
Wiegman also spoke about the status of Alex Greenwood.
“I haven’t spoken to the medical staff yet,” she said. “But she’s conscious and talking, which is a good sign.”
England’s defeat to Belgium is a major setback in their quest to qualify for the 2024 Olympics. The Lionesses will need to be at their best in their remaining two matches if they are to turn things around.
England’s next match is against Scotland on November 16.