Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Bellingham scores in stoppage time as England draw Belgium


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London, March 27: Jude Bellingham’s 22nd goal of the season salvaged a 2-2 draw for England against Belgium on Tuesday and continued his outstanding form going into this year’s European Championship.
The Real Madrid midfielder underlined his importance to Gareth Southgate’s team ahead of the Euros with a goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time at Wembley Stadium to ensure England avoided back-to-back defeats, following Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Brazil.
Two first-half goals from Youri Tielemans, either side of an Ivan Toney penalty, put Belgium on the verge of its first away win against England. But as the game went deep into stoppage time, Bellingham controlled a pass from substitute James Maddison in a crowded box and coolly slotted the ball past goalkeeper Matz Sels with a side-footed shot.
It was his third goal for his country and his first at Wembley.
Watching on from the sidelines, Southgate punched the air in celebration. Tielemans, who had been subbed off earlier, furiously turned and punched his seat.
Bellingham is quickly becoming a talisman for club and country. He joined Madrid from Borussia Dortmund last June in a deal that could be worth more than $139 million and has gone on to establish himself as one of Europe’s best players.
As the top scorer in the Spanish league with 16 goals, he is pivotal to Madrid’s hopes of winning the title and Champions League this year.
He is also the driving force at the heart of England’s midfield in a year when Southgate hopes to end the nation’s wait for a first trophy since the World Cup in 1966.
And while his latest contribution for the Three Lions came in a friendly match, it demonstrated his growing influence at the age of just 20 years old as England battled back for a draw. (AP)


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