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UEFA Women’s Championship
Houghton faces nervous wait as England prepare to announce Euro 2022 squad
YESTERDAY AT 10:02
FULL-TIME: ENGLAND 3-0 BELGIUM
The Lionesses kick off the first of three warm-ups ahead of Euro 2022 with an impressive victory over the side ranked 20th in the world, with goals from second half substitutes Chloe Kelly and Rachel Daly as well as an own goal.
90’+1 – EARPS PRESERVES ENGLAND’S CLEAN SHEET!
She’s called into action for the first time tonight following some poor defending as the unmarked Vanmechelen heads straight at the England goalkeeper.
90′ – THREE MINUTES ADDED ON
180 more seconds for Belgium to endure.
87′ – SLIGHT STOPPAGE
Daly is down after a collision but she’s fine and play resumes.
84′ – OFFSIDE
England are caught out defensively, but Dhont is flagged offside.
83′ – GOAL! ENGLAND 3-0 BELGIUM (NICKY EVRARD OWN GOAL)
Again Belgium fail to clear from an England corner. Williamson’s shot crashes off the underside of the bar and hits Evrard on the back before landing in the net. That will go down as an own goal!
81′ – ENGLAND SUB
The excellent Hemp makes way for Parris, who rescued a last-minute draw for England the last time these sides met.
80′ – STRAIGHT AT THE GOALKEEPER
Hemp lifts a cross into England but she can only head straight at Evrard.
76′ – BELGIUM CHANCE!
Wullaert – Belgium’s highest-ever goalscorer – rushes an attempt and blazes over the bar. That’s poor by her standard.
75′ – CLOSE!
That would have put the icing on the cake! Kelly tees up Williamson for a shot on the edge of the box but the captain’s shot drifts just wide.
73′ – BELGIUM CHANGES
Vanmechelen and Vangheluew come on for the visitors.
72′ – SHOULD BE THREE!
England are enjoying themselves now, as Hemp races down the left flank, looks up and stands up a cross for England. She ought to score but gets too much on her header and rises over the top of the bar.
68′ – JUST WHAT ENGLAND DESERVED
England may have needed some good fortune to open the scoring, but no one can deny that a 2-0 lead is a reflection of how the game has unfolded so far. In truth, the Lionesses could have been out of sight by half-time. Wiegman will want his side to add another goal or two to their tally now.
66′ – GOAL! ENGLAND 2-0 BELGIUM (RACHEL DALY)
Daylight between the teams! Two goals in four minutes mean England are in total control now.
There’s an almighty scramble as Belgium fail to clear England’s corner, it falls to Daly who arrows a shot into the top corner.
62′ – GOAL! ENGLAND 1-0 BELGIUM (CHLOE KELLY)
Just the slice of luck the Lionesses needed! Bronze sprays the ball wide to Kelly on the right, and with quick footwork she works her way inside before leathering a shot at goal. It takes a huge deflection off Tysiak, wrong-footing Evrard and ends up in the back of the net!
61′ – MORE CHANGES
Chelsea team mates England and Kirby come on for Stanway and White. For the visitors, Delaclauw and Philtjens make way for Dhont and Missipo.
58 – NO PENALTY
Jeers ring around the stadium as the referee turns down England’s appeals for a penalty after Hemp was taken out. If anything, though, it would have been a free-kick as it was just outside the box.
57′ – OFF TARGET
For the third time this evening, Stanway fails to hit the target. It has been that kind of night for England so far and frustration is clearly building.
56′ – CLOSE FOR ENGLAND!
Kelly’s deep cross just evades White in the middle. It comes out to Walsh from distance and her venomous shot from distance stings the gloves of Evrard.
54′ – STUBBORN DEFENDING
Kelly latches onto a ball down the right, but there’s no way past Philtjens. England need to up the intensity if they’re to make the breakthrough.
England’s Lucy Bronze controls against Belgium
Image credit: Getty Images
52′ – COMPLEXION HAS CHANGED
England may not create as many opportunities as they did in the first half, if the first seven minutes of the second period are anything to go by. Belgium look to have plugged the gaps and are seeing much more of possession now.
49′ – YELLOW CARD
Moments after she fires off target, Minnaert is caught by Bronze, who goes into the referee’s book – the first player to do so this evening.
46′ – THE SECOND HALF BEGINS
Belgium have been resilient and organised in defence – can England find a way through in the remaining 45 minutes?
21:02 – SUBS AT THE BREAK
Chloe Kelly, Rachel Daly and Alex Greenwood are on for Wubben-Moy, Mead and Stokes for England.
Belgium have also made two switches – Kees and De Neve are replaced by Tison and Tysiak.
HALF-TIME: ENGLAND 0-0 BELGIUM
Despite carving out a string of opportunities, England have not yet been able to find the breakthrough.
45’+1 – INDECISION COSTS MEAD
Mead spins away from her marker as she closes in on goal, but she takes a touch too many and has to settle for the corner, which ultimately comes to nothing.
45′ – WILD SHOT
Wijnants blazes a shot miles over the bar after a sustained spell of pressure from the visitors.
There will be two minutes of added time to play at the end of the first half.
42′ – HALF-TIME APPROACHING
England are still pushing for a goal before the break. They have had more than enough opportunities and arguably should have had a penalty. Wiegman will be pleased with what her side have produced against the world’s 20th ranked side so far – there has been just one thing missing.
39′ – OFF THE LINE!
Williamson, fed by Hemp, dinks the ball over the onrushing Evrard… is this the moment for England? No! Kees is perfectly positioned to head away her goalbound shot!
38 – CYNICAL FOUL
Biesmans deliberately takes out Bronze to put a stop to her forceful running but somehow escapes a yellow card.
35′ – NO PENALTY!
Mead takes a tumble under pressure from Delacauw inside the box… is this a penalty for England? They certainly have a strong case… but no! The referee is unmoved.
33′ – CHANCE FOR BELGIUM!
With Bronze well out of position, Belgium counter and expose the space down her flank. Minnaert cuts the ball back for the unmarked Delacauw but she fails to generate enough power or the accuracy with her first-time effort.
31′ – THE CHANCES KEEP COMING
A flick past a defender sees the space open up for Mead but she slices her shot from the top of the box. Is it going to be one of those nights for England?
29′ – HOW DOES WHITE NOT SCORE?
Bright – at the near post – attacks a dangerous corner kick from the right but misses her kick. It falls to White, she looks for all the world that she will open the scoring but she doesn’t get a connection on the shot! Belgium scramble clear.
27′ – CLOSE!
Bronze picks out Stanway into a dangerous area. The Belgium defence is retreating which allows Stanaway to keep going and going, getting the shot away and it drifts just wide of the far post. That’s the closest we’ve come.
26′ – HIGH PRESSING
Again we see the benefit of England’s high-press as White steals the ball from a hesitant defender. This time, however, nothing comes of the opportunity.
24′ – ALERT GOALKEEPING
Hemp gets into a dangerous area on the left, she’s searching for the run of White in the middle but delivers her cross too close to Evrard.
23′ – STOPPAGE
Biesmans is down after being caught by White and there will be a short stoppage to allow the former Bristol City player to receive treatment.
17′ – NOT FAR AWAY!
Bronze is involved in almost everything here as she sends a looping cross into the middle from the right flank. White gets there before the goalkeeper but is caught by Evrard as the ball is knocked behind the Belgium goal.
14′ – ANOTHER CHANCE FOR ENGLAND!
A ball is sprayed wide to Hemp, she immediately cuts inside and into the penalty box. The space opens up for her but she probably takes a touch too many, she aims for the near post but Evrard has her shot covered as the Belgium goalkeeper pushes it wide for a corner.
11′ – EXCELLENT SAVE!
Belgium run into trouble once more and this time England go close to punishing them! Mead’s cross is delivered to White at the near post, she pokes it at goal but Evrard makes an instinctive save to keep the score level.
9′ – WIDE!
Hemp presses Deloose and steals the ball down Belgium’s left. She drives into the box, cutting it back for former Man City team mate Stanway who slices her effort well wide.
6′ – ANOTHER MARAUDING RUN FROM BRONZE
Bronze rides one challenge before skipping past another committed defender as she gets to the byline. Her cross, however, is mishit and Belgium have a goal-kick.
5′ – OFFSIDE
A first sign of intent from the visitors as Wullaert is almost set free down the left wing – but she’s offside.
4′ – DANGER AVERTED!
Bronze, who is almost playing like a right winger, plays a one-two with Mead, before driving into the penalty area but her shot is blocked.
2′ – RUNS INTO TROUBLE!
Bronze picks out the run of Williams, who beats one defender but can’t beat another as the ball is shielded into the arms of Belgium goalkeeper Evrard.
1′ – KICK-OFF!
After both teams take the knee, England get us underway.
19:55 – HERE COME THE PLAYERS
There are around 10,000 inside Molineux for tonight’s game. We’ll be treated to the national anthems before kick-off which is now just five minutes away! England are wearing black armbands in memory of Wiegman’s sister who sadly passed away recently.
19:52 – DID YOU KNOW?
England are unbeaten in their last 10 meetings with Belgium in all competitions. Although two of the last three ended level, England’s last defeat to Belgium came back in May 1980, losing 2-1 in a friendly.
19:50 – ENGLAND HOPING TO EXTEND RUN
The Lionesses are unbeaten under Wiegman, drawing just twice, both of which came in the Arnold Clark Cup, a competition they would ultimately win.
19:45 – STERN TEST AHEAD
Belgium – ranked 20th in the world – have lost just one of their last 11 games, and were denied victory over the Lionesses in a friendly back in 2019 when a late Nakita Parris goal salvaged a draw for England, so this will be a test.
19:40 – PREPARATIONS CONTINUE FOR LIONESSES
It is now fewer than three weeks until hosts England kick off Euro 2022 at home to Austria at Old Trafford and tonight we will have a glimpse of what is close to Wiegman’s strongest XI.
England will continue their preparations with a match with holders The Netherlands at Elland Road and will wrap up their warm-ups by travelling to face Switzerland before the competition begins on July 6.
Austria, Norway and Northern Ireland are their opponents in Group A.
19:35 – WIEGMAN SPEAKS
The England boss has been speaking to ITV: “We want to play a lot, we need games ahead of 6 July. It’s good to play after having three weeks of training and show on the pitch where we are.”
On the starting XI: “Alex [Greenwood] is ready to play, she couldn’t train with the squad last week. She is ready to play but not a game yet. The starting line-up up front have started a lot during the season. I have started working with Chloe [Kelly] in the pre-camps. We would like to see her in the game.”
19:30 – TESSA WULLAERT STARTS FOR VISITORS
The former Man City forward takes the captain’s armband tonight, hoping to add to her incredible record of 65 goals in 106 caps.
Sanne Troelsgaard Nielsen of Denmark and Tessa Wullaert
Image credit: Getty Images
19:25 – TWO CHANGES FOR ENGLAND
Sarina Wiegman makes two changes to the side that thrashed Northern Ireland out last time, but make no mistake, this is a strong line-up from the England boss. Leah Williamson captains the side and there’s a place for Arsenal defender Lotte Wubben-Moy with Alex Greenwood still trying to build up fitness.
19:20 – BELGIUM’S TEAM
Belgium XI: Evrard, Deloose, Kees, De Neve, Philtjens, Biesmans, Minnaert, Delacauw, Wijnants, De Caigny, Wullaert.
19:15 – ENGLAND’S TEAM
England XI: Earps, Bronze, Stokes, Walsh, Bright, Wubben-Moy, Mead, Williamson, White, Stanway, Hemp.
Subs: Daly, Hampton, Kirby, Toone, Parris, Kelly, Greenwood, England, Scott, Roebuck, Russo, Carter.
England Women play the first of three friendlies tonight against Belgium at Molineux before they open their home tournament against Austria at Old Trafford on July 6.
Will the Lionesses start their preparations on a winning note?
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Source: Euro Sports