Heartache as Lionesses lose 2-1 to last-minute sucker punch goal to Germany at Wembley
England thought that Ellen White’s classy volley was enough to give the Lionesses a 1-1 draw against a powerful Germany at Wembley tonight, but the women in white suffered last minute heartache as the visitors snatched a 2-1 in the hotly-anticipated sell-out home of English football.
The Lionesses have struggled for positive results since the World Cup in the summer just one win in five and pressure will increase on head coach Phil Neville to turn around their fortunes.
But while non-qualification for Euro2021 means he doesn’t have to worry about participation in the tournament in England, it also means that the heat of competition is also missing and that’s what can mean the difference between winning and losing.
Trying to replicate that is tough and continued poor results are not helping.
England travel to play the Czech Republic on Tuesday and major changes in personnel are expected with Chelsea trio of Carly Telford, Millie Bright and Bethany England expected to start.
England almost went behind on three minutes when Alexandra Popp had a pop from just inside the England penalty area. Mary Earps took a finger-tip touch on the sizzler to deflect the ball onto the crossbar and away for a corner.
It was certainly a signal of intent from the visitors that they were not going to be cannon fodder for the home side.
In fact the reserve was true as Popp was right on the spot, having made space for herself, eight yards out to head home from Kathryn Hendrich’s byline cross.
It took the Lionesses 23 minutes to get close to the Germany goal - Nikita Parris forcing a corner from her byline cross.
Quite how Sara Doorsoun, on 30 minutes did not get a red card for her lunging challenge on Beth Mead is a mystery. Referee Stephanie Frappart brandished just a yellow.
Despite being second best, the Lionesses won a penalty on 34 minutes when Mead was upended by goalkeeper Merle Frohms following good work by Ellen White to set her free.
Up stepped Lyon’s Parris who smashed the spot kick straight down the middle. But Frohms, despite diving to her right, managed to get her trailing leg to the ball and it dropped over the crossbar and onto the top netting for a corner.
With seconds to go of the half remaining, and with their first piece of penetrating play - a wonderful defence-s-litter from Keira Walsh, White beat the offside trap and cooly slotted home a low volley to level the score.
England boss Phil Neville kept the same 11 on for the second half,
The Lionesses produced a much better second half despite seeing Lina Magull tucking home what Germany thought was a second goal. The lineswomen flagging for offside sent a wave of relief to the record-breaking attendance of 77,768 at Wembley.
A raft of England substitutions broke up the rhythm of the game, which worked to England’s advantage.
But with seconds to go up popped Kara Buhl on the left to arrow home a left-footed daisy-cutter that went across Earps and into the far corner of her goal.
Teams: England, Earps, Bronze, Greenwood, Walsh, Houghton, Parris, Scott, Nobbs, Mead, Williamson, White
Subs, Telford, Roebuck, Bright, Taylor, Stokes, McManus, Stanway, Daly, Staniforth, England, Hemp Bonner
Germany: Frohms,, Kleinherne, Hendrix, Oberdorf, Starke, Marozsan, Pope, Dabritz, Buhl, Magellan, Doorsoun
Subs: Benkarth, Schmitz, Mayer, Heggering, Schiller, Bremen, Dallmann, Rauch, Leupolz, Knaak, Gasper, Lattwin