2022 Women's International Friendly
  • Chloe Kelly (62')
  • Rachel Daly (66')
  • Nicky Evrard (83' OG)

England beat Belgium in friendly as Chloe Kelly scores first international goal

McNamee: Kelly made great impact for England vs. Belgium (0:54)

Kathleen McNamee praises the influence of Chloe Kelly as she scored her first international goal in England's 3-0 win vs. Belgium. (0:54)

WOLVERHAMPTON, England -- Chloe Kelly marked her return to international football after rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament with a first senior international goal as England beat Belgium 3-0 at Molineux on Thursday.

It took England over an hour and nearly 20 shots on target to finally find the back of Nicky Evrard's net with Kelly scoring a deflected shot before Rachel Daly doubled the lead.

Captain Leah Williamson forced England's third late in the second half when her shot bounced off the crossbar and onto Evard and into the net.

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England were unbeaten in their last 10 meetings against Belgium heading into the game, with their last loss to them coming in a 1980 friendly.

England had dominated in the first half with 66% of the possession and showed some lovely link-up play but struggled to find any real intensity or proper aim in front of goal.

"I think the first half we played well, but we created chances to score but we needed some depth too. I think we did that better in the second half," England coach Sarina Wiegman said in her postmatch news conference.

"I think when you win 3-0 it is enough. I think when we go into the Euros, we need more ruthlessness."

Williamson came closest to putting the Lionesses ahead on 37 minutes when she chipped the ball over Evrard's head, but a last ditch header off the line by Sari Kees ensured the sides went into the break level.

The second half saw Wiegman make a raft of changes with goalscorers Daly and Kelly coming on alongside Fran Kirby, Beth England and Alex Greenwood.

The new legs gave England the intensity they had been missing in the first half.

Lucy Bronze found Kelly down the right wing on 62 minutes and the Manchester City winger cut inside the box. Her shot was on target and was deflected into the net by Amber Tysiak.

England's second goal came on 66 minutes after they were awarded a corner. Belgium failed to clear the threat and as the ball pinballed around the box, it landed at the feet of Daly, who smashed it into the top left-hand corner.

Williamson was rewarded for her efforts on the night when she pounced on another ball Belgium failed to clear and fired a shot that came off the underside of the bar and then Evrard on 83 minutes.

The result means that England are unbeaten under Wiegman since she took charge in September and they will hope to continue that trend as they prepare for a home European Championship.

Since September, they have scored 75 goals in 12 games and conceded just two.

Games against reigning Euro champions Netherlands and also Switzerland are next for England before they start their tournament campaign on July 6 versus Austria.

"The competition in this team is really high and we have opps for many players. Now we are also just looking for connections and we can use different qualities in different positions," Wiegman added.

"We are getting closer but it is not all set. We still have two matches to go. Things can change really quickly."