• England National Teams

Women Defeated By Belgium in Final Game

England 1
Howard (41' FG)

Belgium 4
Vanden Borre (12' FG, 33 PC); Rasir (28', 55' FGs)

England's women ended their FIH Hockey Pro League season with a defeat as Belgium took all three points in London.

Had England converted a second half penalty stroke and another great chance soon after then they could have taken something from the game, but they came away with nothing for their efforts as Stephanie Vanden Borre and Justine Rasir got two apiece.

Tess Howard was England's goalscorer for her second strike in two days.

In just two weeks' time the women take part in the prestigous World Cup in Netherlands and Spain, and they go there on the back of eight successive home games in which they have undoubtedly learned plenty about themselves.

Match report
Belgium had the first corner but England defended well, and then Tess Howard saw a shot not too far wide of the Belgian net.

It was the visitors who opened the scoring somewhat scrappily, Stephanie Vanden Borre's effort taking a nick off Giselle Ansley to make it 1-0.

In the second period England created a bit of forward play but Izzy Petter's effort was a little too close to the Belgian 'keeper and another cross soon afterwards was too far away from any English attackers.

But despite that, Belgium soon made it 2-0 as Justine Rasir finished with aplomb after pinching the ball high up the pitch. There was still time for a good Elena Sotgiu save before the break but Belgium went in two goals ahead.

They made it 3-0 with a Vanden Borre corner and even though the game looked up, England looked to dig deep. Sophie Hamilton found Howard for a close range equaliser, and a minute later we had a penalty stroke but Grace Balsdon's effort was saved.

As the fourth quarter began, Howard was inches away from a goal as a big chance went begging, and with those two chances in succession unfortunately England's route into the game slipped away.

Rasir then got another after nicking the ball to make it 4-1.

So it's a quick turnaround now for the women as they head to Netherlands and Spain for the prestigious World Cup, the start of a huge summer of hockey for David Ralph's side.