Mon. May 27th, 2024

England 2-2 Belgium: Bellingham’s last-gasp strike rescues England

By Josh Smith Mar 27, 2024
Bellingham bagged his third goal for the Three Lions against Belgium. Photo: Javier Garcia/Shutterstock

Jude Bellingham bagged an injury-time equaliser to save England from a second successive defeat in their 2-2 draw against Belgium, in an international friendly on Tuesday.

The Real Madrid midfielder slotted the ball into the bottom right corner in the 95th minute after substitute James Maddison found him in the middle of the box, causing an eruption of applause from the Wembley crowd.

“Jude, of course, is the headline, that competitive spirit, that desire not to lose, desire to win in the end, was decisive in getting the late goal,” England manager Gareth Southgate said. 

“But I thought the whole team showed that throughout the game and recovered from setbacks with a pretty inexperienced team, really, against a team that have got some very, very good players.”

It was Belgium who first took the lead in the 11th minute after Jordan Pickford gave the ball away, it fell to Yuri Tielemans who rolled the ball into the bottom right corner as Pickford ran past it on its way into the goal.

Ivan Toney brought the Three Lions level in the 17th minute from the penalty spot after Bellingham slipped the ball into the box for Toney to run onto, the striker was then tripped by Jan Vertonghen and the referee gave a penalty.

Toney took a short one-step run-up before calmly slotting the ball into the bottom left corner, wrongfooting the goalkeeper to make the score 1-1.

Tielemans gave Belgium the lead again in the 36th minute when Romelu Lukaku beat Lewis Dunk to a long ball played in behind the England defence, Lukaku then wiped the ball across the box with the outside of his foot and found Tielemans whose diving header flew into the net.

Jared Bowen nearly put England ahead in the 26th minute when Phil Foden’s corner found Dunk who nodded the ball across the six-yard box for Bowen to tap in with his head, but the goal was ruled out by VAR as Bowen was offside.

England had several chances to equalise in the second half, with Toney coming the closest when Foden ran at Belgium’s defence and slid the ball to Toney, only for the striker to hit the side netting in the 53rd minute.

England manager Gareth Southgate made several changes to the starting 11 that played in the defeat against Brazil on Saturday, with this the last match before he picks his training squad for this summer’s European Championships.

Toney and 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo came in to make their full England debut, with Bowen, Dunk and Ezri Konsa also making their way into the team.

Regular starters Harry Kane, Bakayo Saka and Kyle Waker missed out through injury, while John Stones left the pitch after gaining an injury in the 9th minute. 

“I’m a bit lost as to who we’ve got and who we haven’t really,” Southgate said.

“Definitely some players have emerged positively from the opportunities they’ve had and so we’ve perhaps got more depth in one respect, but the injuries are a concern and we’ve still got the real heat of the season to come.”

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