Lionesses' Triumph In Arnold Clark Cup Hints At Exciting Euro 2022 Campaign

Sarina Wiegman is still to taste defeat since taking over the Lionesses in September
17:00, 24 Feb 2022

England Women emerged victorious over Germany 3-1 on Wednesday to win the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup tournament . Sarina Wiegman’s side scored twice late on to secure victory and now they can start to prepare for this year’s main event, the European Championships.

The match was played at Molineux, the home of Wolverhampton Wanderers and the Wolves’ den became that of the Lionesses as they made it their home for the night. They sent the home crowd into a state of euphoria when Fran Kirby fired in the match-winning strike at the death to increase the optimism levels ahead of this summer’s Euros. 

Wiegman and her players will have seen plenty of positives for them to carry with them to the major tournament in July and the Arnold Clark Cup has proven to be the perfect warm-up for the summer spectacle, also on home soil. Having been held to a draw in their first two matches against Canada and Spain, the Lionesses pulled out all the stops in the final game when it mattered, with Kirby’s goal in extra-time claiming the title on goal difference. 

The Lionesses’ record goalscorer Ellen White was the first England star on the scoresheet, as she opened proceedings with a lovely finish that came from some excellent build-up work from her Manchester City team-mate Georgia Stanway. White’s tally for her country now stands at 49 and she has drawn level with the great Sir Bobby Charlton and just four shy of England’s top scorer Wayne Rooney. The 32-year-old will be eagerly waiting to get stuck into the Euros because not only is a historic title up for grabs, but there’s a chance for her to make even more incredible history herself.

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The array of talent among the squad includes a good mixture of youth and experience. Young talents such as Stanway, Leah Williamson, Alessia Russo and Lauren Hemp will be raring to go in July while being supported by the experienced heads of White, Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton, Millie Bright and Beth Mead. There is is a growing feeling that in this group of players there is the perfect balance which is just what is needed for international competition.

Wiegman will have a great chance to win back-to-back European titles, having won the last tournament with home nation the Netherlands back in 2017. When she was appointed back in September, her arrival came with a lot of expectation, but with how impressive her start to her tenure has been, the foundations that have been built in preparation for the Euros have been promising.

The two goals conceded in the Arnold Clark Cup are the only goals the Lionesses have leaked since the Dutch coach took the reins. They may not have shown it so vividly in this tournament, but they have proven themselves to be clinical goalscorers, with some gargantuan results in recent months. Wiegman is yet to taste defeat as England boss and if that impressive record can remain intact heading into the Euros, it will provide another confidence boost for the home nation in what is shaping up to be an exciting and promising tournament for the Lionesses.

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