Football, International Friendly

England vs Belgium: Bellingham secures late equaliser for the Three Lions

Jude Bellingham’s late equaliser saved a 2-2 draw between England and Belgium, preventing a second straight loss at Wembley in a short period of time.

Once again, England’s defensive missteps appeared to be the cause of their defeat against a FIFA top-10-ranked opponent, but Bellingham’s two missed opportunities earlier in the game saved the hosts’ blushes.

John Stones of Man City was carted off the pitch early on, causing Gareth Southgate’s team troubles, and Youri Tielemans of Belgium took advantage of a mistake made by Jordan Pickford to take the lead.

The hosts rallied admirably after those early setbacks, with Toney winning and scoring a penalty to tie the score with England, despite missing key players such as Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka, and Kyle Walker due to injury.

Before Bellingham missed a clear opportunity and Jarrod Bowen’s goal was disallowed by VAR for offside, Tielemans gave Wembley another shock by heading in Romelu Lukaku’s cross to give Belgium the lead heading into halftime.

After the break, England pushed for an equaliser, but Bellingham headed another fantastic opportunity wide before Matz Sels made a great save to deny the excellent Kobbie Mainoo.

The Three Lions appeared to be lurching towards yet another loss as Phil Foden curtailed a strike to go wide of the far post, but Bellingham came up with a crucial goal to round off a challenging evening for England.

The favoured team for Euro 2024 still has unanswered questions. With only seven victories, seven draws, and eleven losses against the top ten countries so yet, Southgate’s record is far from ideal. There are still many unanswered questions before the competition in Germany this summer.

England’s lengthy injury list…

  • Harry Kane
  • Bukayo Saka
  • Kyle Walker
  • John Stones
  • Harry Maguire
  • Reece James
  • Trent Alexander-Arnold
  • Luke Shaw
  • Sam Johnstone
  • Nick Pope
  • Callum Wilson
  • Marc Guehi
  • Levi Colwill
  • Tyrone Mings
  • Jack Grealish
  • Kieran Trippier


Speaking after the game, England goalscorer Bellingham was pleased to spare his side any “rubbish” from their critics after snatching the 2-2 draw.

He said: “Yeah I liked it because I know the rubbish we would have got if we lost two games on the bounce.

“These are two games that are going to stand us in good stead going into the Euros. I know people will be negative but you have to take these games for what they are.

“You’ve got to keep perspective. We had a lot of lads making debuts (this week) and a lot of lads I’ve never played with. We created a lot of chances. I should have scored (previously). I was happy I could make it up to the team.”

Bellingham also spoke up for Southgate, who has been working with a severely-depleted squad and saw Stones join a lengthy injury list early in the match.

“Of course it’s hard for the gaffer, people need to realise how hard it is. You come into these games expecting a fully-fit team and expect to give it a really good crack,” added the midfielder.

“It’s a really difficult one for us, but I’m sure he’s glad with the players he got to see over the two games.

“I’m never happy to lose or draw but we’ve got to be happy with how they’ve played.”

Prior to the match against Belgium, England manager Gareth Southgate stated he had never seen an injury situation quite like the one his team is currently facing.

Stones has now been added to that list, and while he acknowledged that the injuries are a worry, he insisted that the increased squad depth is a plus.

He said: “I’m a little bit lost as to who we’ve got and who we haven’t! The great thing is, there’s definitely some players who have emerged positively from the opportunities they’ve had. We’ve perhaps got more depth in one respect, but the injuries are a concern.

“We’ve got so many players missing at the moment with the real heat of the season to come, with the intensity of the games and what’s resting on them, we won’t know what we’re left with until right at the end.”

On whether he is any closer to knowing the make up of his 23-man squad for the Euros, he added: “There’s so many unknowns about the 23 in terms of who might be available. These performances were very important to see whether these players could play against high-level opposition.

“But equally how they play in their games between now and the end of the season in big matches will have a high tariff too.

“I wanted to see Anthony Gordon again, I thought he had an excellent impact in the first game, and I thought James Maddison could open things up a bit for us.”

Belgium manager Domenico Tedesco:

“I’m disappointed, with five seconds to go you can win at Wembley and it would be of course something very special.

“If we have a look at the game, I think England were really strong, created many chances and you had a feeling from the beginning they wanted to win the second game here.

“The result is okay in the end.”

Two days after the Premier League season concludes, on Tuesday, May 21, Gareth Southgate will announce the provisional England squad for Euro 2024.

After that, England has two further international friendlies on June 3 at St James’ Park against Bosnia and Herzegovina and on June 7 at Wembley against Iceland. On Sunday, June 8, Southgate must confirm his final 23-man squad.

England’s opening match of the tournament is scheduled for Saturday, June 15, in Germany against Serbia on Friday, June 14.

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