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Jude Bellingham Sots Last-Gasp Equaliser As England Draw With Belgium

Jude Bellingham scored at the death to salvage a 2-2 draw for England at Wembley on Tuesday after Youri Tielemans struck twice for Belgium in the final match before Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2024 selection. Injury-hit England — among the favourites to win the Euros in Germany — were bright in attack but Tielemans capitalised on defensive lapses. The Aston Villa midfielder scored an early opener after a bad error from England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and headed home a second later in the first half after Ivan Toney had equalised from the penalty spot.

Belgium survived a succession of England attacks and seemed certain to hold out for the win in front of more than 80,000 fans before Real Madrid midfielder Bellingham struck deep into stoppage time.

The draw is a welcome boost for England after they lost 1-0 to Brazil at Wembley on Saturday — their first defeat since the 2022 World Cup quarter-final loss to France.

“Jude of course is the headline and that competitive spirit, that desire not to lose, desire to win in the end, was decisive in getting the late goal,” said England boss Southgate.

“But I thought the whole team showed that throughout the game and recovered from setbacks with a pretty inexperienced team.”

Southgate has had to grapple with numerous absences during the March international window and his problems mounted when defender John Stones was forced off early in rain-swept London, replaced by Joe Gomez.

The manager, when asked who would be available for the Euros, which start in June, said he was “lost”.

“The great thing is definitely some players have emerged positively from the opportunities they’ve had and so we’ve perhaps got more depth in one respect but the injuries are a concern,” he added.

“We’ve got so many players missing at the moment and we’ve still got the real heat of the season to come… we’re not going to know what we’re left with until right at the end.”

Tielemans pounces

Belgium, themselves without the injured Kevin De Bruyne, took the lead in the 11th minute in bizarre fashion.

Pickford tried to play a cross-field pass when out of position but could only pick out Everton team-mate Amadou Onana, who released Tielemans and the midfielder coolly slotted into the bottom corner.

But the home side were level six minutes later when Manchester United starlet Kobbie Mainoo, making his first international start, combined with Bellingham before the Real Madrid defender fed Toney, who was tripped by Jan Vertonghen.

Toney, leading the attack in the absence of captain Harry Kane, took the resulting penalty himself, stroking the ball home nonchalantly to make it 1-1.

With the game opening up, Jeremy Doku forced Pickford into a smart save while England forward Jarrod Bowen had a headed goal ruled out for offside.

Bellingham fluffed his lines when he fired over from close range with only goalkeeper Matz Sels to beat.

Instead it was the visitors — fourth in the FIFA world rankings, one place below their opponents — who regained the lead, to the delight of their vocal band of fans.

Lewis Dunk, playing in central defence in place of the missing Harry Maguire, failed to deal with a long ball over the top and Belgium captain Romelu Lukaku pounced.

The forward crossed brilliantly with the outside of his left foot, straight into the path of the diving Tielemans, who headed home powerfully in the 36th minute.

The game settled into a similar pattern after the break, with England enjoying the lion’s share of possession but the visitors remained a threat on the break.

Bellingham missed a glorious chance to equalise when he put a header wide from close range but he made his final effort count in the 95th minute.

Belgium coach Domenico Tedesco said he was disappointed to miss out on a “special and fantastic” win but admitted England were strong.

“They created many, many chances,” he said. “We had a feeling from the very beginning that they wanted to win the second game during this (international) camp and that’s why I think the result is OK.”

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