England U21s slip to Belgium defeat

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England 2 (1)
Charlotte Calnan 4 (FG)
Megan Crowson 62 (PS)

Belgium 3 (2)
Joanne Peeters 14 (PC)
Stephanie Vanden Borre 57, 62 (PC, PS) 

England U21 Women’s Coach Craig Keegan lamented how hockey can be a “cruel game sometimes” as he watched his side slip to a 3-2 defeat against Belgium in the second match of the Five Nations Invitational in Valencia.

“If we simply look at the statistics, we were better in all areas, other than where it counts - goals for and against.” said the Head Coach in the immediate aftermath of the4 defeat.

England lead through a Charlotte Calnan goal, the Surbiton player picking up a rebound after Olivia Paige set up Esme Burge, whose shot was well saved by the goalkeeper.

Joanne Peeters pulled one back on 14 minutes for Belgium and then two minutes later Stephanie Vanden Borre made it 2-1. Vanden Borre added her second to make it 3-1 in the second half and despite a penalty stroke from Megan Crowson reducing the arrears there was not enough time for England to salvage a draw.  

  Keegan reflected afterwards, telling England Hockey:

“I thought we delivered well with effort and commitment, but lacked attitude in both circles. An area we are working to improve.”

“This tournament sits perfectly for our Junior World Cup development. We have 20 players here in Valencia, and others back in the UK all striving for selection.”

All the latest scores, fixtures and scorers from Valencia can be found.