Janice Cayman

Belgium hold Lionesses to draw

England drew 3-3 with Belgium on Thursday night as they stepped up their Euro 2021 preparations in Leuven.

The Lionesses came out of the blocks the quicker and took the lead on 22 minutes when Georgia Stanway played in former Arsenal striker Jodie Taylor before she slotted the ball into the net.

Beth Mead then made it two shortly after as she reacted quickest to fire in after Taylor had saw her effort parried out by home keeper Nicky Evard to put Phil Neville’s firmly in control.

However Belgium hit back on 38 minutes with an unfortunate own goal from goalkeeper Carly Telford and despite her best efforts Lucy Bronze couldn’t clear the danger away after Heleen Jaques effort hit the crossbar before bouncing down and hitting Telford on the back.

With the last kick of the first half Belgium equalised after Ella Van Kerkhoven took advantage of poor defending from Steph Houghton and Abbie McManus to bullet a header past the helpless Telford.

The Lionesses 14 places above Belgium in the World rankings will have been disappointed with their defensive performance as they fell behind 10 minutes after the interval after an uncharacteristic error from Houghton, the defender failing to clear allowing Van Kerkhoven with a free shot on goal making no mistake in notching her second goal of the game.

England however fought back to claim an equaliser when a Janice Cayman handball gifted them a penalty allowing Nikita Parris to convert as she lashed the ball into the roof of the net.

Next up for the Lionesses is a trip to Norway on Tuesday where we could see some new faces make their international debuts as Phil Neville is expected to change things around after a frustrating night in Belgium.


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