GEORGIA STANWAY’S piping hot penalty gave England bragging rights over the USA for the first time in five-years.
All the build up talk had been about the Lionesses finally forgiving USA star Alex Morgan for her tea-sipping celebration when she dumped them out of the semis of the last World Cup.
Arsenal’s Beth Mead said the Euro winners preferred coffee anyway – and they must have had an extra shot before last night’s blockbuster clash because it was packed full of drama as the Lionesses beat USA for the first time since 2017.
Just past the half-hour mark (34 min) there was already a penalty, a VAR check for a potential red card, three goals and one more chalked off.
The world champs were then nearly awarded a late penalty for a handball but VAR overruled it because Rose Lavelle’s strike had actually struck Lauren Hemp’s BUM CHEEK.
It certainly was a peach of a friendly as Manchester City’s Hemp hit the opener then Sophia Smith cancelled it out before Stanway sealed it from the spot.
The only damper for England was that the 76,893 attendance was not a bigger crowd than the 87,192 who watched them win the Euros at Wembley this summer.
Wiegman’s side were bossing it early on and just nine minutes in they hit the opener thanks to a delicious dipping and curling cross from Mead into the path of Hemp who bundled it home.
But the Lionesses were left with their tails between their legs when they shirked their defensive duties to gift USA the equaliser on 28 minutes.
Millie Bright passed from the back an under-pressure Stanway whose kamikaze clearance was latched onto by Sophie Smith.
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She made no mistake in unleashing a sweet, low strike into the bottom corner and well beyond Mary Earps on 27 minutes.
Just three minutes later the drama continued as Lucy Bronze was kicked in the face by a high boot from Hailie Mace in the box – but referee Riem Hussein astonishingly played on.
The referee was then called over to the monitor to check for a possible red card and penalty, and she awarded the spot kick.
Stanway stepped up and went from zero to hero from her earlier defensive mistake by lashing a cool, low drive into the bottom corner on 33 minutes.
Only a minute later and It was the visitors turn to tuck into the goalfest.
Smith was causing England’s defence havoc and she charged down the right flank beyond Millie Bright to tee up Megan Rapinoe.
The OL Reign winger produced a mouth-watering backheel to Trinity Rodman who rifled home.
But the chaos continued as there was another VAR check, this time for a potential offside in the build up by Smith.
Wembley erupted when the Lionesses were let off as the goal was disallowed to keep it at 2-1.
And thank goodness for VAR when it quickly overruled the late bum cheek drama between Lavelle and Hemp on 81 minutes.
Source: The Sun
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