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England vs Belgium LIVE: result and reaction as Lauren Hemp early goal gives Lionesses win in Nations League

England return to winning ways with a 1-0 win over Belgium in the Nations League

Sonia Twigg
Friday 27 October 2023 22:31 BST
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England returned to winning ways as the Lionesses beat Belgium in the Women’s Nations League clash in Leicester.

The European champions and World Cup runners-up defeated Scotland in Sunderland to open their Nations League campaign but then suffered just their third defeat under Sarina Wiegman in a 2-1 loss at the Netherlands.

The result had put England in third place in Group A1 ahead of the double-header against Belgium, who lead the standings on four points following their win against Scotland and draw against the Netherlands.

But the Lionesses found just enough on the night to beat Belgium, although it was far from the clinical performance they would have wanted. Despite dominating possession and chances, they were only able to find the net once and that left the game more open than it could have been.

The Lionesses must win their group to advance to the Nations League Finals, and must then get through the semi-finals to book Team GB’s qualification spot for next summer’s Olympic Games in Paris.

Follow for all the latest updates from the King Power Stadium:

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FT: England vs Belgium

Here’s the match report from Adam Millington at the King Power Stadium:

It wasn’t particularly pretty but England for the most part achieved what they set out to do. Victory over Belgium was at least some form of response to September’s defeat by the Netherlands, the Lionesses thankfully laid to rest their run of five games without a clean sheet, and three points will of course be advantageous if they are to realise their Nations League ambitions.

Last time out they were beaten in Utrecht – at least on this occasion they managed to avoid the same fate and achieve the win despite yet another somewhat lacklustre display.

It all started as if England were going to make a convincing statement and Sarina Wiegman would immediately be vindicated for her decision to revert to a tried-and-tested back four. Defeat by the Netherlands was difficult, and accepting the issues with the experimental formation undeniably brought about some progression.

England come out on top but it’s far from a complete performance against Belgium

England 1-0 Belgium: Lauren Hemp scores decisive goal in key Nations League clash

Sonia Twigg27 October 2023 22:06
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FT: England 1-0 Belgium

Millie Bright told ITV Sport: “We go out every single game to win every single game but also perform as well.

“To get the clean sheet - I thought we were really good defensively.

“I think although it was only 1-0 the scoreline didn’t reflect the game, we had so many chances.”

On whether England should have been more clinical: “Definitely, I think if you look back on that game there were so many chances and it was only 1-0.

“But really really happy with the performance on the back of a few games that we weren’t quite happy with.”

Sonia Twigg27 October 2023 22:00
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FT: England 1-0 Belgium

Niamh Charles on her first start in year to ITV: “It was a really good night.

“I really enjoyed it and I feel quite at home there and I really enjoyed playing.

“In a game like this it’s really nice to get forward as well.”

Sonia Twigg27 October 2023 21:52
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FT: England vs Belgium

Wiegman on Kirby’s return: “Of course, I was very happy to see her back with her club she did well. She is a different player gives us something different in certain situations.”

Sonia Twigg27 October 2023 21:49
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FT: England vs Belgium

Wiegman said when asked about what she would want to develop going forward: “We really said be secure on the ball, of course we want to go forward, the higher up on the pitch we want to take more risks but the game is improving, you see Belgium, they have tight spaces.

“The decision-making has to be right.”

Sonia Twigg27 October 2023 21:48
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FT: England 1-0 Belgium

Sarina Wiegman to ITV: “I think we are very happy with the win, especially after the last game we lost.

“We hoped to score more than we did tonight to make it a little bit easier.”

She added: “I think we started the game really well with a lot of pace, then it dropped a little bit.

“It’s just a lot easier when we score, but how we are on the pitch, how we want to play, we are pleased with that.

Sonia Twigg27 October 2023 21:47
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FT: England 1-0 Belgium

FT: Well it wasn’t the most clinical performance or one necessarily for the highlights reel, but it was an important victory for England.

They were by far the better team, and while they might be a bit disappointed they could not add to their early lead and really put the game to bed, it is an important three points.

Sonia Twigg27 October 2023 21:38
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England 1-0 Belgium

90+2’ England are looking like they’ll just see this one out here to bounce back from defeat to the Netherlands and go level with the Dutch at the top of the group, although behind them on head to head record.

Sonia Twigg27 October 2023 21:37
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England 1-0 Belgium

90+1’ Jess Park has tried to walk the ball into the back of the net there!

She took on so many players but took it behind the touchline as she ran out of space, it was an insight into just what the young player is capable of.

Sonia Twigg27 October 2023 21:35
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England 1-0 Belgium

90’ Earps has to fall on the ball but it’s not really a proper chance from Belgium.

The England goalkeeper will not let her side rest though and urges them back up the field as they continue to look for the elusive second goal.

Sonia Twigg27 October 2023 21:34

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