Sunday, December 3


England boss Sarina Wiegman says the pain of losing a second-straight Women’s World Cup feels just as much as the first after the Lionesses fell at the final hurdle.

The European champions were brought undone by Spain, losing 1-0 in Sunday night’s decider at Sydney’s Stadium Australia.

Wiegman, who has taken England to new heights in her two-year spell, led the Netherlands to the 2019 final before being defeated by the USA.

The Dutchwoman is the only manager to achieve the unwanted feat.

“I’m just hurt about this moment,” Wiegman said.

“Losing a game and in a final, when you’re in a final you want to win it.

“I guess you mean because it’s a second final, I don’t see it (like that), this was a different game, a different team.

“I was totally convinced before the game that it would be a very tight game but we were confident that we were able to win it.

“I hope in the future I get a new moment with the team I work with, that would be amazing, because it’s very special to play finals.”

Wiegman has taken England to a European Championship victory and this year’s World Cup final.

Her side struggled to stamp their mark against Spain but despite their recent defeat, midfielder Georgia Stanway was adamant they could bounce back.

“We’ll go back to our clubs. I’m sure that each individual will go back and want to hit the ground running,” Stanway told reporters.

“Because we’re the Lionesses and we’re not done yet.

“We’ve still got many years in my career and I’m sure that one day this (medal) will be gold.”

England were without Leah Williamson, Fran Kirby and Beth Mead through injuries while Jill Scott and record goalscorer Ellen White retired following last year’s Euros.

They also had to contend with a knee injury to midfield metronome Keira Walsh and a suspension to breakout star Lauren James en route to the final.

Veteran defender Lucy Bronze made the blunder which allowed the Spanish to strike through Olga Carmona in the first half.

Wiegman threw captain and defender Millie Bright further forward as they chased a late equaliser, but she was unable to draw her side level.

“The character is always there,” Bright said.

“We show that day in day out and every game but for us, we just played in a World Cup final.

“It’s hard to see it like that at the minute but ultimately, I’m so proud of the girls.

“We’ve played on the highest stage and we’ve had a chance to compete for the trophy that we’ve always wanted. This isn’t the end of the journey.”

England’s best players are keen to make amends by qualifying for, and winning, the Paris Olympics.

“The goal is always to win tournaments with this team,” Bronze said.

“We showed that we can do that, we’ve made a final today as well.

“There’s no reason why (not) to go on and create more legacies.”


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