Arsenal duo feature as England draw with Belgium
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Arsenal’s Beth Mead scored and clubmate Leah Williamson made a late substitute appearance as England’s women drew 3-3 with Belgium in Leuven on Thursday night.
The Lionesses came out of the blocks the quicker and took the lead on 22 minutes when Georgia Stanway played in former Arsenal striker Jodie Taylor, who slotted the ball into the net.
Mead then made it 2-0 shortly after as she reacted quickest to fire in after Taylor had seen her effort parried by home keeper Nicky Evard to put Phil Neville's side firmly in control.
However, Belgium hit back on 38 minutes when, despite her best efforts, Lucy Bronze couldn't clear the danger after a Heleen Jaques' effort hit the crossbar before bouncing down and hitting goalkeeper Carly Telford on the back.
And with the last kick of the first half Belgium equalised after Ella Van Kerkhoven took advantage of poor defending from Steph Houghton and Abbie McManus to bullet a header past the helpless Telford.
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World Cup semi-finalists England, 14 places above Belgium in the World rankings, would have been disappointed with their defensive performance as they fell behind 10 minutes after the restart after an uncharacteristic error from Houghton.
The experienced defender failed to clear, allowing Van Kerkhoven a free shot at goal and she made no mistake in notching her second goal of the game.
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However, England fought back to claim an equaliser when a Janice Cayman handball gifted them a penalty, allowing Nikita Parris to convert as she lashed the ball into the roof of the net.
It was a positive night for the Arsenal pair with Mead scoring her sixth international goal and Williamson, although she didn't get much time to make an impression, could start on Tuesday against Norway in a midfield role that boss Neville wants to convert her into.