England hammer Belgium 6-1 to win Arnold Clark Cup

Chloe Kelly celebrates after scoring England's opening goal against Belgium.
Naomi Baker - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Chloe Kelly and Leah Williamson each scored twice as England beat Belgium 6-1 at Bristol's Ashton Gate on Wednesday to win the Arnold Clark Cup with their third victory from three matches.

Kelly scored early in each half, with captain Williamson adding another in between at the end of the first half to put England in complete control.

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The contest finished with a flurry of goals in the final 12 minutes. An own goal from Julie Biesmans and a effort from Lucy Bronze made it 5-0 to the hosts before Belgium grabbed a consolation through Elena Dhont.

England, though, would have the last word when Williamson grabbed her second in stoppage time.

After wins over South Korea and Italy in their previous matches, Sarina Wiegman's side needed just a draw to claim the title in the second edition of the event. 

While the competition wasn't as strong as in the inaugural event in 2022, last year's Euro winners have continued their positive momentum ahead of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand this summer. 

On the front foot from the off, the Lionesses nearly took the lead just eight minutes in when Lauren James blazed over from point blank range. Shrugging the miss off, James was instrumental in the opener when the Chelsea woman danced through the Belgian defence before flashing the ball across the face of goal for Kelly to knock home from a yard out.

The chances continued for the hosts with Millie Bright -- the joint top scorer from the 2022 Arnold Clark Cup -- next to come close when the defender nodded the ball onto the roof of the net from  a corner.

Where Bright missed, her centre-back partner, Williamson, made sure at a corner later in the half. Williamson emphatically nodded the ball beyond Nicky Evrard, although there was more than a suggestion of a handball from Alessia Russo in the build-up.

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The Lionesses continued their attacking endeavours after the break and again were just a whisker away at the start of the second half, with Ella Toone's drive just over the bar.

The hosts didn't have long to wait for their third of the night when Kelly grabbed her second, again from close range when she dashed through the middle to mop up the scraps after Evrard had spilled a Toone effort.

The Red Flames continued to hold their breath in defence, with their makeshift backline continuously exposed and lucky to avoid conceding from a Kelly curler, Russo header or Toone laser-strike that Evrard tipped onto the bar.

However, the visiting defence buckled once again late on when Biesmans stabbed Georgia Stanway's low cross into her own net.

There was still time for England to find another goal, again catching Belgium out at a set-piece this time with Bronze dashing in behind to volley the recycled ball home.

Well beaten but not out, Belgium pulled a goal back in stoppage time when 24-year-old Dhont curled home one of the goals of the tournament, beating Mary Earps from considerable range.

That was not the last news from the game, however, as the Lionesses instantly responded to re-open the five goal gap three minutes into stoppage time when Williamson grabbed her brace, firing low from the top of the box.

The win means England retain the Arnold Clark Cup without dropping a point in their trio of games, scoring twelve times and conceding just twice.