England Lionesses celebrate win against USA at Wembley Stadium

The England Lionesses celebrated a 2-1 win against USA at Wembley Stadium last Friday night, in front of a record attendance of over 76,000 fans.

England, who were on a 14-game unbeaten run going into the game, had the weight of expectation on their shoulders as they aimed to conquer the world champions, albeit in a friendly.

There were plenty of talking points ahead of the game, with the USA team coming to terms with the horrifying report on abuse within women’s soccer in the States which materialised to the public just days before this fixture.

The home side were missing some big names ahead of the tie, with Leah Williamson and Alessia Russo both side-lined with injuries on a night where the England team were celebrating their 50-year anniversary.

This particular fixture sold out within 24 hours of tickets being released, a massive boost to women’s sport following record tickets sales of over 50,000 for the recent Women’s Super League tie between Arsenal and Spurs.

Both teams started the game strongly and it was a fiercely competitive contest throughout.

It took Manchester City’s Lauren Hemp just ten minutes to fire in the first goal of the night, with Portland Thorns’ striker Sophia Smith equalising in the 28th minute.

England took the lead again five minutes later in what was a dramatic encounter, with Lucy Bronze being the victim of a high boot from defender Hailie Mace.

The referee needed to consult with the VAR monitor before awarding a penalty kick, Bayern Munich’s Georgia Stanway placing the ball calmly past Alyssa Naeher in the US goal.

VAR was a huge talking point on the night as the USA had a penalty overturned in the 81st minute.

The referee initially awarded the penalty kick as Hemp appeared to handle the ball but the decision was overturned by the video assistant.

The game finished in a very nervy but courageous 2-1 home win for the Lionesses.

USA have now lost back-to-back games for the first time in five years after suffering a 2-0 defeat to Spain in Pamplona last night.

However, it was also a rather frustrating night for England, as they drew 0-0 with the Czech Republic.

Playing in front of a vibrant crowd of 21,222 in Brighton’s Amex Stadium, it was a landmark night for Lucy Bronze who earned her 100th international cap.

The visitors defended faultlessly throughout, and despite Lauren James and Lauren Hemp both hitting the post, there were only a handful of chances created for the Lionesses to score.

The best chance for the Czech Republic came shortly before the break when Andrea Staskova was gifted the space to glide towards goal but ultimately miss-hit her shot.

The result continues England’s now 16 game unbeaten run, with Czech Republic on a four game undefeated streak.

England will now be setting their sights on the World Cup next summer in Australia and New Zealand, with the desire to win the tournament for the first time.

Featured image credit: Herry Lawford via Flickr under CC BY 2.0 licence

Related Articles