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Lionesses bring Molineux fans some English cheer

Chloe Kelly marked her England comeback with her first international goal as the Lionesses beat Belgium 3-0 at Molineux in their first warm-up match ahead of next month’s home Euros.

England's Ellen White (left) attempts to head the ball under pressure from Belgium goalkeeper Nicky Evrard during the women's international friendly match at Molineux, Wolverhampton. Picture date: Thursday June 16, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER England Women. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire...RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to FA restrictions. Editorial use only. Commercial use only with prior written consent of the FA. No editing except cropping.
England's Ellen White (left) attempts to head the ball under pressure from Belgium goalkeeper Nicky Evrard during the women's international friendly match at Molineux, Wolverhampton. Picture date: Thursday June 16, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER England Women. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire...RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to FA restrictions. Editorial use only. Commercial use only with prior written consent of the FA. No editing except cropping.

Having come on at the break for her first international appearance since returning to action from an ACL injury in April, winger Kelly put Sarina Wiegman’s side ahead with a deflected shot in in the 62nd minute. Fellow substitute Rachel Daly added a strike four minutes later to double the lead, and the third then came with seven minutes of normal time remaining when skipper Leah Williamson hit the bar and the ball went in off goalkeeper Nicky Evrard.

It proved a comfortable victory in the end after a first half that had seen the hosts fail to make a breakthrough despite creating a flurry of chances, which included Williamson being denied by a goal-line clearance. England, playing the day after Wiegman named her final 23-player squad for this summer’s tournament, will now face Holland at Elland Road in eight days and then Switzerland in Zurich before opening their Euros campaign by taking on Austria at Old Trafford on July 6.

Kelly told ITV: “It was brilliant to be back out there. To get a goal was an amazing experience.”

On her recovery from injury, she added: “I said from the start I wanted to be at the Euros. I worked hard each day. I realise how much hard work I put in in my rehab.”

And what did boss Sarina Wiegman tell her to do when she came on? “To be an attacking player. To get balls in the box and enjoy myself. I tried to get my player one v one and enjoyed every minute of being out there.

“Each challenge gets us ready for July 6.”

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