England 1-1 Canada: Man City’s Janine Beckie spoils Lionesses’ night


England Women had to settle for a 1-1 draw in their opening Arnold Clark Cup fixture as Canada came from behind to claim a point at the Riverside.

Millie Bright’s volley had given England the lead at half-time but Manchester City winger Janine Beckie’s stunner drew the Olympic gold medal winners level shortly after the break.

Beckie’s goal was the first England have conceded since Sarina Wiegman took charge of the side in September. 

This mini tournament, which also includes Spain and Germany, was organised by the FA to give the Lionesses games against higher ranked opposition before this summer’s home Euros. 

Janine Beckie (middle) broke England hearts in the Arnold Clark Cup on Thursday night

The Manchester City striker produced a sensational strike to equalise in Middlesbrough

The Manchester City striker produced a sensational strike to equalise in Middlesbrough

The Lionesses had won all six of their previous games under Wiegman, with 53 goals scored and none conceded. Only Austria had provided a real test, limiting them to just one goal in their World Cup qualifier in November.

Canada are ranked sixth in the world, two places above England. However, most of their players are still in pre-season due to the scheduling of the American league and Wiegman will perhaps be disappointed that her side did not do enough to win this game.

Spain, who boast several players from Barcelona, will no doubt provide an even tougher test – though they too were held by a weakened Germany side.

This was a steady performance by England, but Wiegman knows her players will have to raise the bar if they want to win this tournament – and indeed the Euros. 

Lionesses defender Millie Bright opened the scoring for England in front of a 9,000 crowd

Lionesses defender Millie Bright opened the scoring for England in front of a 9,000 crowd

The Chelsea defender connected sublimely inside the area to fire into the back of the net

The Chelsea defender connected sublimely inside the area to fire into the back of the net

MATCH FACTS 

England (4-2-3-1): Earps, Daly (Bronze 65), Bright, Greenwood (Carter 65), Stokes, Williamson (Parris 65), Walsh, Toone (Stanway 45), Hemp (Mead 65), Kirby, Russo (White 75)

Subs not used: Hampton, Roebuck, White, Nobbs, Charles, Scott, Zelem

Goals: Bright 22

Manager: Sarina Wiegman

Canada (4-3-3): Sheridan, Riviere (Lacasse 66), Buchanan, Gilles, Lawrence, Fleming, Grosso (Prince 59), Rose (Pickett 80), Beckie, Scott, Huitema (Quinn 59)

Subs not used: D’Angelo, Chapman, Zadorsky, Scmidt, Carle, Boycuhk, D’Anjou, Yekka

Booked: Lawrence, Buchanan

Goals: Beckie 56

Manager: Bev Priestman

Referee: Lina Lehtovaara

‘We need these lessons because this was a totally different game than we have had in the first six,’ Wiegman said. 

‘Yes we did really well then but we’re gonna get games like these at the Euros so we need to play these games and learn from them.

‘I think we played a very good first half, I think we dominated in that part of the game. 

‘We created chances, unfortunately we only scored one. In the final third we need to be more composed to get that last pass right.

‘We should have scored more. In the second half we suffered a little more and had to get connected again. 

‘How we reacted to that was harder. Spaces became bigger and we were not tight on the ball. That is what we will discuss and try to do better on Sunday.

‘This was a game that we wanted and we get two more. Now you saw them under the highest pressure in possession and out of it. 

‘In the first half we did well but saw things we could do better like switching the ball. 

‘In the final third we need to be more composed to get that last pass right.’

England started brightly but it was Canada who had the first real chance as Kadeisha Buchanan’s header hit Bright before Deanne Rose fired over from close range.

But the Lionesses were quick to respond as Leah Williamson went close at the other end, firing a shot just wide of the far post. 

The hosts continued to ask questions of their opponents and their pressure paid off when Bright opened the scoring in style mid-way through the first half.

Canada goalkeeper Kailen Sheriidan could only punch Alex Greenwood’s corner as far as the edge of the box where Bright was waiting to fire a first-time volley, which took a slight deflection, into the top left corner of the net.

Ella Toone and Alessia Russo both saw efforts blocked as the hosts searched for a second. Lauren Hemp then fired wide from a Williamson cross shortly before half-time. 

Beckie's strike was the first England have conceded since Sarina Wiegman took charge

Beckie’s strike was the first England have conceded since Sarina Wiegman took charge

But England failed to make their pressure count and they were made to pay as Canada drew themselves level early in the second half. It was a goal out of nothing as Rachel Daly gave the ball away cheaply on the half-way line before the ball was worked to Beckie, who curled a shot into the top left corner.

Hemp had a chance to restore England’s lead almost instantly after she was played in down the left by Keira Walsh, but her shot to the far post was well saved by Sheridan.

England continued to press for a winner and Nikita Parris saw an effort from inside the box fantastically blocked by Buchanan. Georgia Stanway then fired a shot down the throat of Sheridan in added time. That was as close as the hosts came in the second half after what had been a promising opening 45 minutes.

Parris wanted a penalty in the final minute after going to ground under a challenge from Buchanan. The defender made slight contact but referee Lina Lehtovaara was not interested in pointing to the spot.

The result means all four teams are level after the opening round of fixtures, with the next matches to be played at Carrow Road on Sunday.



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