Jude Bellingham scored as England drew Belgium in a Friendly Clash

March 27, 2024
Jude Bellingham scored as England drew Belgium in a Friendly Clash

Jude Bellingham scored in stoppage time to give England a 2-2 Wembley draw with Belgium on Tuesday, after Youri Tielemans’ double threatened a smash and grab victory in an enthralling friendly.

Tielemans put the visitors ahead after 11 minutes, and Ivan Toney equalised with a penalty shortly after, but Tielemans headed Belgium ahead 2-1 at halftime.

It was cruel on England, who looked completely different from the team who lost to Brazil on Saturday, and they deserved their last-gasp equaliser.

“I knew the rubbish we would’ve got if we had lost two games on the bounce,” Bellingham told the media.

“We should have won with all of our opportunities, but these two games will serve us well. I understand that some individuals will be negative, but we must focus on the positive.

“I’m confident the boss will be pleased with how we played. You’re never delighted with a loss or a draw, but we must be pleased with how we performed.”

The encounter between third-ranked England and their fourth-ranked opponents had a completely different vibe than Saturday’s lackluster affair, in which England hardly produced a shot against Brazil, and the tone was established within 20 seconds when Toney blasted over from a Jarrod Bowen cross.

Belgium, wearing an odd outfit of light blue shirts and brown shorts against England’s charcoal gray, took the lead when Jordan Pickford’s mishit clearance went straight to Amadou Onana, who then passed it to Tielemans, who stroked it into the empty net.

Jude Bellingham saved England against Belgium at Wembly

England responded with a penalty as Jan Vertonghen pulled down Toney, and the Brentford striker scored his first goal with his signature two stride style.

With his opponents as backup to the injured Harry Kane failing to make a strong case, it was a watershed moment for Toney and his chances of making the Euros team.

Bowen felt he had proved his case when he nodded in from close range following a 26th-minute corner, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

England, on the other hand, played with an energy and vibrancy that was sorely lacking on Saturday, when Bowen and Bellingham both shot over from strong positions.

However, it was another error by centre back Lewis Dunk, who was at fault for Brazil’s winner, that allowed Belgium to score again. Romelu Lukaku took advantage by clipping in a superb cross with the outside of his foot, which an unmarked Tielemans met with a diving header after 36 minutes.

England continued to produce chances in the second half, with Toney, Bellingham, and Foden all coming close, with the incredible 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo making an enticing case for a Euros spot.

Belgium defended well, but appeared to have done enough until the hosts launched a final attack down the left, with replacement James Maddison sending in a low cross that the highly outstanding Bellingham coolly tucked in.

It made English fans delighted, but it also extended Belgium’s unbeaten streak to 12 games under coach Domenico Tedesco.