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

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:

England vs Belgium LIVE

  • FT: England 1-0 Belgium

  • HT: England 1-0 Belgium

  • GOAL! Lauren Hemp - England 1-0 Belgium 13’

FT: England vs Belgium

22:06 , Sonia Twigg

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

FT: England 1-0 Belgium

22:00 , Sonia Twigg

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.”

FT: England 1-0 Belgium

21:52 , Sonia Twigg

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.”

FT: England vs Belgium

21:49 , Sonia Twigg

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.”

FT: England vs Belgium

21:48 , Sonia Twigg

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.”

FT: England 1-0 Belgium

21:47 , Sonia Twigg

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.

FT: England 1-0 Belgium

21:38 , Sonia Twigg

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.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:37 , Sonia Twigg

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.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:35 , Sonia Twigg

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.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:34 , Sonia Twigg

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.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:33 , Sonia Twigg

89’ Hemp has another header wide. England have been threatening from set-pieces here today, but have more often than not missed the target and left the goal untroubled.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:32 , Sonia Twigg

88’ The game has just fractured a bit, there is an attacking substitution from Belgium and there are a few more fould creeping in as England look to close it out while the visitors will be pushing for an equaliser.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:30 , Sonia Twigg

86’ England have yet another two corners in quick succession here.

But as they have done so many times in this match, they are unable to find the back of the net and it will be a free-kick to Belgium.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:29 , Sonia Twigg

84’ Stanway is down holding her head following a big clash of heads there and that might be a reasonable stoppage.

The announcement has just come through for an attendance of over 23,000.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:28 , Sonia Twigg

83’ England work the ball forward, but Fran Kirby cannot be picked out by Georgia Stanway.

There will be another England substitution with Chloe Kelly coming off for Jess Park.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:26 , Sonia Twigg

82’ Belgium have a chance to get the ball in the box with a free kick from the left, England head clear but Earps has to be alert to gather the second ball which was headed towards the back post.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:25 , Sonia Twigg

80’ Belgium are trying to get forward a little bit here but they still haven’t had many chances.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:23 , Sonia Twigg

78’ SAVE! Evrard makes yet another save to deny Hemp who did well to weave her way into the box and create the space to take her shot, but it was well stopped by the goalkeeper.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:22 , Sonia Twigg

78’ Belgium’s attack doesn’t amount to anything significant other than a goal kick, and England will have the ball again.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:20 , Sonia Twigg

76’ Daly is charging around everywhere since she came on, but she gives away a free kick which will allow Belgium a rare chance to get forward.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:18 , Sonia Twigg

74’ SAVE! Evrard again has to come charging out to try and get anything on it and keep it away from the incoming England attacker.

She does well, but they will have to keep this up to stop England getting a second.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:17 , Sonia Twigg

73’ England keep plugging away, but so far the Belgian defence has been solid enough to stop them getting a second.

There’s just under 20 minutes remaining of this Nations League match.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:15 , Sonia Twigg

71’ Alex Greenwood takes the shot! It was a good curled strike and was heading into the back of the net before being saved by Evrard

England 1-0 Belgium

21:14 , Sonia Twigg

69’ The Belgian goalkeeper had to be alert there to push the ball away from the incoming England player.

The Lionesses will have a free kick just outside the box for a foul on Stanway.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:11 , Sonia Twigg

67’ Charles has given the ball away and Belgium will have a chance to break, but Greenwood wins the ball back.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:10 , Sonia Twigg

66’ Greenwood has another ball in, this time from a free kick almost in the position of a short corner, but again Belgium are able to clear the ball away from the danger area.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:09 , Sonia Twigg

64’ The fans are holding their phone lights aloft as they do often at women’s games for a reason that isn’t apparent.

Fran Kirby will be coming on to a great cheer, with Rachel Daly in the first changes of the game for Sarina Wiegman.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:07 , Sonia Twigg

63’ Belgium come again, Bronze makes the interception, but it feels like the visitors are starting to believe they can find a way back into the game.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:04 , Sonia Twigg

60’ Stanway could have been shown a yellow card there for that ‘tactical foul’ near the half way line as Belgium tried to break.

Earps then just managed to find Bronze with a pass that was close to being intercepted by Delacauw.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:03 , Sonia Twigg

59’ England attack again, and it will be yet another corner.

Greenwood takes but it’s headed away.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:02 , Sonia Twigg

58’ The Netherlands have made it 3-0 against Scotland, and England are still in search of their second here.

England 1-0 Belgium

21:00 , Sonia Twigg

55’ SAVE! Mary Earps had to be alert there to make a key save to prevent substitute Wijnants from levelling the match!

England 1-0 Belgium

20:57 , Sonia Twigg

52’ England have a free kick just inside the Belgium half, Greenwood sends it to the far post and it just had too much on it for a stretching Stanway.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:55 , Sonia Twigg

50’ CHANCE! Russo fires wide!

The ball fell perfectly to her after Kelly drove into the box and had her own attempt blocked, but she couldn’t hit the target.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:53 , Sonia Twigg

49’ Ella Toone has an ambitious attempt from the right corner of the box but it was always going wide.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:52 , Sonia Twigg

47’ Bright has her header deflected over and it will be another corner...which finds Bronze but her header glances just wide of the goal

England 1-0 Belgium

20:51 , Sonia Twigg

46’ Hemp is played in behind almost immediately, but she can’t get her cross to find the target and it’s deflected behind for another corner.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:49 , Sonia Twigg

46’ The second half is underway in Leicester, Belgium have made one change during the break

HT: England 1-0 Belgium

20:46 , Sonia Twigg

The teams will be out soon at the King Power Stadium for the second half

HT: England 1-0 Belgium

20:40 , Sonia Twigg

Here are some photos from the first half:

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

HT: England 1-0 Belgium

20:34 , Sonia Twigg

HT: England have deserved their lead, but they have been unable to add a crucial second and Belgium remain in with a chance of securing something here.

The Lionesses have dominated chances and possession, but it’s still a slim margin to lead by.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:33 , Sonia Twigg

45+1’ It was a clever corner that picked out De Caigny at the near post, she hooked it in an attempt to secure another shot on target but it went into the side netting.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:32 , Sonia Twigg

45’ Belgium will have a corner from that after a clever headed move and some scrappy play from England.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:31 , Sonia Twigg

44’ England have been a bit too keen to try and win the ball back at times, there have been a few careless free-kicks and there’s another one just inside the Lionesses’ half on the stroke of half time.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:30 , Sonia Twigg

43’ Russo has a shot after being played in by Kelly but the angle was tight and the goalkeeper was able to hold on to the shot.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:28 , Sonia Twigg

41’ Belgium have a corner, but England deal with the initial ball and are able to clear.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:27 , Sonia Twigg

40’ Having just had a shot at the other end, Bright has made a good block in her own penalty box to dispel a rare Belgium attack.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:26 , Sonia Twigg

39’ Hemp wins the ball on the right and finds Stanway, but she can’t get the cross in and Belgium will have another free kick.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:25 , Sonia Twigg

38’ Greenwood’s corner was perfectly curled into the box, but it was defended and cleared by Belgium.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:24 , Sonia Twigg

37’ England are trying to find a breakthrough, but Charles is blocked as she tries to use the stronger left foot rather than shifting to the right.

Millie Bright has a strong shot deflected wide for yet another corner for the Lionesses.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:22 , Sonia Twigg

35’ The Netherlands have taken a two-goal lead against Scotland in the other match in the Nations League group.

England have had all the possession, but still lead by just the one goal here.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:21 , Sonia Twigg

33’ Chloe Kelly now has an attempted cross cleared.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:19 , Sonia Twigg

32’ The crowd have already burst into Sweet Caroline, as England attack again, but Hemp’s cross is cleared before it reaches Russo.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:18 , Sonia Twigg

30’ England were so close to a second there but Russo just couldn’t quite get the contact she needed to put the ball in the back of the net.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:16 , Sonia Twigg

28’ The ball fell to Missipo at the back post, and England did not look overly comfortable there!

The shot is skewed into the side netting, but there are some promising signs from Belgium.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:15 , Sonia Twigg

28’ CHANCE! Another direct ball from the back from Belgium, Wullaert makes a good run into the box, and the ball just deflects behind off Millie Bright.

They will have a corner.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:13 , Sonia Twigg

27’ Greenwood sends in a corner, but this time Russo is first to it and it deflects behind for another corner.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:11 , Sonia Twigg

24’ Belgium have another shot on target, it’s saved. They are very direct, but both times they have got forward, they have had a shot on target now.It might just be something for England to be aware of going forward in the match.

Greenwood is lucky not to be punished for an elbow to the face on Missipo.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:09 , Sonia Twigg

22’ SAVE! Yet another England attack, they have just kept coming in wave after wave and Belgium have really struggled to get out of their own half.

Greenwood tries her luck from distance! And it’s palmed away by the goalkeeper.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:07 , Sonia Twigg

20’ England just keep coming here, I’m fairly sure they’ve had almost all of the ball, a ball over the top is just a bit long for Toone.

The Netherlands have taken the lead against Scotland in the other game in the group.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:06 , Sonia Twigg

18’ Ella Toone has a strike from distance but it’s straight at the goalkeeper!

England are looking lively, and the goal just seems to have brightened them up further!

England 1-0 Belgium

20:03 , Sonia Twigg

15’ England have kept the pressure on and are looking for a second...but the ball can’t quite find Lucy Bronze in the penalty area and goes behind.

GOAL! England 1-0 Belgium

20:00 , Sonia Twigg

12’ England have their second corner in as many minutes here...and they have their goal!

Hemp follows it up after it rebounded back off the corner flag and the Lionesses have the breakthrough!

England 0-0 Belgium

19:58 , Sonia Twigg

10’ Lauren Hemp tried to get through Belgium there, but went straight through the defender in her attempt to get the ball and conceded a free-kick.

England 0-0 Belgium

19:56 , Sonia Twigg

9’ SAVE! Mary Earps had to make a good reaction save to deny Belgium’s first real attack of the game.

It was a powerfully-hit header and the England goalkeeper did well to make the save then hold onto it.

Vanhaevermaet had beaten Millie Bright to the ball.

England 0-0 Belgium

19:55 , Sonia Twigg

7’ The Lionesses have definitely been the better side in the opening stages, but Belgium top the group and having never been to a World Cup or an Olympics before, they will want to qualify.

England 0-0 Belgium

19:52 , Sonia Twigg

5’ England thought they had another opportunity through Kelly, but Russo was penalised for a foul.

England 0-0 Belgium

19:51 , Sonia Twigg

3’ CHANCE! Lauren Hemp wins the ball back in the box and goes for a shot which is palmed away by the Belgium goalkeeper but straight into the path of Ella Toone who heads...but just wide of goal.

England have been on top here

England 0-0 Belgium

19:50 , Sonia Twigg

3’ Belgium seem happy to drop off and invite the pressure onto them while trying to make their own attacks on the counter.

England 0-0 Belgium

19:48 , Sonia Twigg

2’ England started brightly, and Niamh Charles had a shot, but could not keep it down.

England 0-0 Belgium

19:47 , Sonia Twigg

1’ Kick off has now happened, a couple of minutes later than planned.

England get the game underway after taking the knee - the Belgium players did not take the knee.

England vs Belgium

19:44 , Sonia Twigg

It’s almost time for kick off in Leicester...

England vs Belgium

19:42 , Sonia Twigg

The teams are out of the tunnel and the anthems are being sung, Belgium’s first and then England’s.

19:40 , Sonia Twigg

England have been out on the pitch warming up:

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

England vs Belgium

19:35 , Sonia Twigg

We’re nearing kick off and the players will be out there getting ready.

England will be desperate to put on a good show for all the fans in the sold-out King Power Stadium and bounce back from their defeat to Sarina Wiegman’s former side the Netherlands.

England vs Belgium

19:25 , Sonia Twigg

Here are some other stories from the world of women’s football:

Sjoeke Nusken scored a brace to help Chelsea secure a 4-2 Women’s Super League comeback victory over Brighton at Kingsmeadow.

The Germany midfielder netted her first two goals in blue after her summer move from Eintracht Frankfurt, with her first coming in first-half added-time before she scored again just after the break.

This came after Brighton’s Pauline Bremer scored the opener for Melissa Phillips’ side, who failed to take advantage of their early lead.

Sjoeke Nusken bags brace as joint leaders Chelsea strike back to beat Brighton

England vs Belgium

19:07 , Sonia Twigg

Here are some more photos from around the King Power:

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

England vs Belgium

19:00 , Sonia Twigg

England forward Lauren James will miss the Women’s Nations League double-header against Belgium because of concussion.

The Lionesses play the first of their two-parter at Leicester on Friday but the Chelsea player will not be involved as she goes through the relevant protocols after suffering a head injury.

Lotte Wubben-Moy trained on Thursday and could be involved in the squad at the King Power Stadium.

Lauren James to miss England’s games against Belgium with concussion

England vs Belgium

18:45 , Sonia Twigg

Mary Earps was forced to admit it has become “really difficult” to keep all fans happy with the increased attendances and popularity of the sport.

The England goalkeeper was criticised for not signing an autograph following Manchester United’s win at Everton on Sunday.

The Lionesses throughout the years have frequently stayed behind after games to meet with the supporters in the crowd, but the increased attendances have meant the fans they do meet become a smaller proportion of the total.

Mary Earps reveals difficulties with fan relationship with rise of women’s football

England vs Belgium

18:43 , Sonia Twigg

Here is the team announcement:

England vs Belgium team news

18:42 , Sonia Twigg

Sarina Wiegman has made three changes to the Lionesses team that were beaten last month by the Netherlands.

Kiera Walsh returns while there are also starts for Chloe Kelly and Niamh Charles.

Katie Zelem, Jess Carter, Rachel Daly were all dropped to the bench, while Lauren James is unavailable and Lucy Parker has an ankle problem.

England XI: Earps, Bronze, Bright, Greenwood, Charles, Walsh, Stanway, Toone, Hemp, Russo, Kelly.

Subs: Morgan, Hampton, Kirby, Carter, Zelem, Wubben-Moy, Clinton, Daly, Le Tissier, Roebuck, Park, Keating.

England vs Belgium

18:30 , Sonia Twigg

Here is another women’s football story that concerns many of the Lionesses:

Chelsea have been drawn against Real Madrid and Arsenal’s conquerors Paris FC in the Women’s Champions League group stage.

Emma Hayes’ side, beaten finalists in 2021, will also face Swedish outfit Hacken in Group D.

French side Paris beat last season’s semi-finalists Arsenal on penalties in the first qualifying round on their way to this phase of the competition for the first time.

Chelsea learn Women’s Champions League draw after Arsenal and Man Utd exits

England vs Belgium

18:28 , Sonia Twigg

England have arrived at the King Power Stadium and here are some photos:

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
England walk down the tunnel at Leicester (The FA via Getty Images)
England walk down the tunnel at Leicester (The FA via Getty Images)

England vs Belgium

18:15 , Sonia Twigg

England star Fran Kirby has been named in the Lionesses squad for the first time in eight months after returning from a knee injury - but Beth Mead misses out despite her own recovery from a ruptured ACL.

Kirby and Mead were key players as England won the Euros but both missed out on this summer’s Women’s World Cup because of significant injuries, and were major absentees as the Lionesses were defeated by Spain in the Sydney final.

Kirby underwent surgery at the end of last season and made her first start of the campaign in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over West Ham at the weekend - Mead, however, only returned to the pitch on Sunday as a late substitute in Arsenal’s 2-1 comeback win against Aston Villa, where she set up Alessia Russo’s winner.

Fran Kirby returns to Lionesses squad as Sarina Wiegman reveals Beth Mead decision

England vs Belgium

18:00 , Sonia Twigg

England will look to get back to winning ways as the Lionesses host Belgium in the Women’s Nations League tonight 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 puts 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.

Is England vs Belgium on TV? Channel, time and how to watch Lionesses tonight

Good evening!

14:25 , Ben Fleming

Hello and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the Lionesses’ Nations League fixture against Belgium from the King Power Stadium. Sarina Weigman’s side got their campaign off to a winning start against Scotland but a dramatic defeat against the Netherlands leaves them in third place ahead of their double-header against Belgium.

Tonight could see the return of Fran Kirby after her year-long absence from the national team, but England will be without Chelsea’s Lauren James after the winger was ruled out with a concussion.

Stay tuned for all the latest build-up and team news ahead of kick-off!