|Lauren Wade struck a superb equaliser for Northern Ireland on the stroke of half-time. (Photo by= Press Eye)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] Belgium capitalized on Jackie Burns' red card with 21 minutes to play as Northern Ireland lost their sole Euro 2022 warm-up 4-1 in Lier. Tessa Wullaert gave Belgium the lead 24 minutes before Lauren Wade's superb equalizer, BBC Sports reported.
Goalkeeper Burns was sent off on 69 minutes for fouling captain Wullaert outside the area. Belgium made the most of their advantage through Ella van Kerkhoven, Wullaert, and Laura Rafferty's own goal. Kenny Shiels' side begin their Euro 2022 campaign - a maiden major tournament for Northern Ireland - against Norway on 7 July at St Mary's before taking on Austria and England in Southampton. Belgium ranked 19th in the world and some 28 places above Northern Ireland, take on Iceland, France, and Italy in Group D. Burns was shown a straight red card, and replacement goalkeeper Becky Flaherty was called upon in place of goalscorer Wade.
It was a harsh ending for Northern Ireland, without injured captain Marissa Callaghan, after a solid display with 11 players and their attention will turn to their Euro 2022 opener with Norway. Prior to kick-off, Shiels had spoken about his desire for more than one warm-up match ahead of Northern Ireland's maiden major tournament.