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Bright slams VAR absence in Women’s Nations League after England loss



MILLIE BRIGHT slammed the absence of VAR absence in the Women’s Nations League after England’s 2-1 loss to the Netherlands following a goal that looked offside. 

Renate Jansen’s shot saw Sarina Wiegman endure a tough welcome home with the sub’s late strike ruining the visitors’ hopes of a draw. 

Lieke Martens gave the hosts a 34th-minute lead despite Danielle van de Donk appearing to be offside
Renate Jansen clinched the win in stoppage time for the Netherlands during their Women's Nations League duel with England
The result saw them move up to second behind Belgium in their Women's Nations League group with England dropping to third

But the Netherlands’ first-half opener on Tuesday night left their former head coach fuming.

Officials failed to spot Danielle van de Donk in what looked an offside position in the build-up to the goal. 

And there was no video assistant referee (VAR) to aid them during the clash at Stadion Galgenwaard. 


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It also saw them register their third loss this year and their third in 41 games under Wiegman. 

England skipper Bright said: “It is always frustrating [to not have VAR]. 

“I think we push the level of the game to be so high and professional, yet we sometimes have VAR, sometimes don’t, sometimes have goal-line technology. There is no consistency. 

“But, by no means is that an excuse. We put ourselves in that position – not clearing the ball, not getting out of pressure. 

“But these are the differences in games as well and it is really unfortunate that these are still huge decisions that are incorrect. 

“But that’s where we as players have to keep speaking about it, we have to step up, we have to demand better and demand more. 


“This is international football and we do not have VAR in a competitive international game, which is mind-blowing.”

The Netherlands’ controversial opener came in the 34th minute with England coming under pressure from the hosts pressing high up the pitch. 

Bright found herself having to clear a hopeful long ball forward to Lineth Beerensteyn early in the game. 

And the England captain blocked a shot from Victoria Pelova who was among her side’s most threatening players on the counter. 

Bright added: “We put ourselves in that position in the first couple of phases where we aren’t clearing the ball, it ricochets off and she (Van de Donk) is clearly offside.

“But I never want to make excuses in the game. 

“For both goals we put ourselves in positions to give them the opportunity to put the ball in the back of the net. 


“So for us it is being a little bit tidier and also being better in the final third. 

“No excuses off the back of a heavy summer. 

“Unfortunately that is the schedule we are in and we have to keep moving forward, but we have to find ways to win.”

Martens gave the hosts a 34th minute-lead after England weathered pressure in the first half hour. 

Her goal came after Jackie Groenen charged down Georgia Stanway’s attempt to clear with the ball ricocheting off Van de Donk who appeared offside before a shot was slammed home. 

When asked about officials failing to chalk off Marten’s strike given Van de Donk’s positioning, Wiegman said: “I’m very frustrated that the goal was [given] onside. 

“First of all I thought our build wasn’t necessary to do it that way but it was so obvious it was offside. 


“I think the whole stadium thought it was offside so I’m really disappointed about that.

“When you talk about VAR, of course it would have taken away that goal. 

“We need consistency in VAR. Either you have VAR or you don’t have VAR.

“Not have it in one game and then in another game you don’t have VAR.”

The clash between England and their Dutch opponents was the first time Wiegman had overseen the Lionesses in a match against her compatriots in her homeland.

The last encounter between two teams Wiegman led to Euros glory  saw her current side thrash her former one 5-1 in a friendly last June. 

This time round the Netherlands took the fight to England with Martens giving them a first half lead. 


And the visitors looked to hit back with Lauren Hemp and Lucy Bronze prompting two stunning saves from Daphne van Domselaar with the Aston Villa summer signing shining in goal. 

This was shortly before Lineth Beerensteyn hit the woodwork close to half time after jetting into the box with Jess Carter hot on her heels. 

The second spell saw England battle their way back with a Hemp effort cleared off the line before Alessia Russo nabbed a leveller with 26 minutes of normal time remaining.

But Jansen dealt a blow to Lionesses’ hopes of grabbing a draw pouncing

The super sub, who came on close to the final whistle, pounced on a misplaced pass from Alex Greenwood to net a stoppage time winner. 

The loss for the Lionesses saw them drop to third behind the Netherlands in group A1 with Scotland clinching a  1-1 draw with leaders Belgium. 

England will hope to return to winning ways when they face Belgium home and away in their next two Women’s Nations League fixtures in October. 


Last night’s result brought an end to a busy period of international fixtures for England the with team returning to action next month.

The Lionesses have played ten games in three months with little time for a break over the summer due to the World Cup and warm-up games prior to the tournament.

And Wiegman expressed concern over players being left fatigued due to a busy international fixture schedule. 

She added: “What we said before on the schedule was that it was very overloaded.

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“What all the coaches say here in Europe is that we have to look at that schedule. 

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“The players need to have some rest, they are not robots.

“There’s a little lack of rhythm but I don’t think that was the problem of why we didn’t win today but it’s an issue that’s ongoing.”

Source: The Sun


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