Having edged past the Red Flames at Leicester City’s King Power Stadium on Friday, England’s Lionesses headed to Leuven on Tuesday – facing Belgian opposition once more in the UEFA Women’s Nations League.
BEL: Evrard; de Neve, de Caigny, Kees; Deloose, Vanhaevermaet, Missipo, Cayman; Detruyer, Wullaert, Blom
ENG: Earps; Charles, Greenwood, Bright, Bronze; Walsh, Stanway; Hemp, Kirby, Kelly; Russo
Laura de Neve needed less than ten minutes to open the scoring in the outskirts of the Belgian capital, curling a stunning free-kick past Mary Earps to cue euphoric celebrations amongst the sellout home crowd.
But the King Power at Den Dreef Stadium would be silenced soon after, with Alex Greenwood left motionless on the pitch for almost fifteen minutes after a hefty collision with Jassina Blom. The Manchester City defender was responsive as she left the pitch on a stretcher, with the FA since confirming that she is conscious and talking.
England responded well though, netting twice as they seemed destined to take the lead at the interval despite the difficult circumstances. Lucy Bronze and Fran Kirby weren’t to have the hero status they had hoped for though, with Tessa Wullaert slotting home midway through fourteen minutes of first-half stoppage time to level the affair.Embed from Getty Images
And while Sarina Wiegman’s side looked promising in attack throughout the second period, ruthlessness was lacking once more – with Alessia Russo, Rachel Daly and Fran Kirby all seeing chances dealt with by Nicky Evrard.
With just five minutes of regulation time remaining, Tessa Wullaert added her second goal of the match from the penalty spot after Georgia Stanway was penalised for a handball offence inside the area.Embed from Getty Images
It’s a result that casts Team GB’s participation at the 2024 Olympic Games into doubt, with the Lionesses tasked with securing their spot at next summer’s tournament.
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. England return to UEFA Women’s Nations League action in December, hosting the Netherlands at Wembley Stadium before concluding their group stage campaign at Scotland’s Hampden Park.