England: Sarina Wiegman’s super subs help see off Belgium

England celebrate scoring against Belgium
England's players celebrating after scoring during the friendly match between Belgium's national women's soccer team the Red Flames and the English Women's national soccer team Lionesses, in Wolverhampton, UK, Thursday 16 June 2022. BELGA PHOTO DAVID CATRY (Photo by DAVID CATRY / BELGA MAG / Belga via AFP) (Photo by DAVID CATRY/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

Fresh from announcing her final 23-player squad to compete at Euro 2022, Sarina Wiegman and her England side hosted Belgium at Molineux. 

Goals from Chloe Kelly and Rachel Daly contributed to a 3-0 victory, with a Nicky Evrard own goal rounding off the scoreline.

Vice-captain Millie Bright celebrated the win alongside earning her 50th senior cap for her country.

Starting XIs


Earps; Bronze, Bright, Wubben-Moy, (Greenwood 46’) Stokes (Daly 46’) Williamson (c), Walsh, Stanway (Kirby 60’) Hemp (Parris 81′) White (England 60’) Mead (Kelly 46’)

Unused Substitues: Hannah Hampton, Ellie Roebuck, Jill Scott, Alessia Russo and Ella Toone


Evrard; Deloose, Kees (Tison 46′) De Neve (Tysiak 46′) Philtjent (Kassandra 61′) Biesmans (Vanmechelen 73′) Minnaret, Delacauw (Dhont 61′) Wijnants (Vangheluwe 73′) De Caigny, Wullaert (c)

Unused Substitutes: Eurlings, Janssens, Lemey, Onzia, Van Kerkhoven

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First Half

England dominated the opening stages of the match, creating lots of chances provided through the overlapping runs of Lucy Bronze from the right-hand side. 

Beth Mead was pressing high up in the opposition box and Ellen White’s effort from close range was saved. Lauren Hemp was next to try her luck — a lovely piece of skill on the left-hand side allowed her to progress forward into the box but her shot only resulted in a corner. 

Belgium began to string some passes together and were winning free-kicks in dangerous areas, but nothing was enough to threaten Wiegman’s defence. The home side continued to try and score the opening goal through Georgia Stanway and Mead but their efforts were just off target. 

The visitors nearly scored for themselves after taking advantage on the counter-attack but Delacauw’s shot from inside the England box wasn’t enough to panic Mary Earps. 

Arsenal teammates Mead and Williamson had some good link up play down the right-hand side. However, Williamson’s dinked effort was cleared off the line. 

The opposition enjoyed a good spell of possession towards the end of the half. 

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Second Half

The half-time interval brought many changes for both managers, including an international return for Manchester City’s Kelly. 

England continued their first half dominance and proceeded to pile on the pressure on the Belgian defence. Hemp and Kelly were using their trickery on the respective wings and were proving to cause lots of problems. 

Belgium regained their composure and began to gain a little bit of rhythm and retained possession of the ball. However after the hour mark, their tiredness crept in and allowed England to capitalise. 

Kelly, who was introduced in the second half, used her best attribute and dribbled past the defender and into the box. She then let fly with her left foot and found the bottom corner via a wicked deflection. 

Soon after, England doubled their lead through another of Wiegman’s substitutes. There was a scramble to try and clear the ball after a dangerous corner was played in. The ball bobbled around in the box but Daly was on hand to smash into the top corner. 

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Player of the Match

Williamson put in an outstanding performance throughout the duration of the match. She was working tirelessly across all areas of the pitch. The captain enjoyed phases of attacking play as well as defending at crucial moments.

Coming Up

Next up for the Lionesses is a trip to Yorkshire next Friday, as they come up against an intriguing Netherlands side at Elland Road. This will be their second warm-up game prior to the Euros. The game kicks off at 8pm BST and will be broadcasted live on ITV4. 

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