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Wiegman hails Bright strike as Lionesses brush Germany aside in Arnold Clark Cup

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IT was an alright night for Millie Bright as Sarina Wiegman praised the Chelsea ace after England beat Germany 3-1 to triumph in the Arnold Clark Cup.

The sharp-shooting centre-back’s close range finish was among the efforts that saw the hosts pass their final pre-Euros test with flying colours.

Millie Bright and Ellen White were both on target as the Lionesses won their first piece of silverware under Sarina Wiegman

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Millie Bright and Ellen White were both on target as the Lionesses won their first piece of silverware under Sarina WiegmanCredit: Getty
Bright's fifth senior England goal and a Kirby stunner helped the Lionesses see off Germany in the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup

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Bright’s fifth senior England goal and a Kirby stunner helped the Lionesses see off Germany in the inaugural Arnold Clark CupCredit: Rex

Just as it looked as if Germany had burst England’s bubble, cancelling out Ellen White’s opener, Bright got her shooting boots on to thwart their rivals’ efforts.

And the win at Molineux was wrapped up with a stunning strike from Fran Kirby as England dispatched the visitors with a late flurry.

The result saw Spain denied overall victory in the tournament as the hosts laid down a marker for their European Championship rivals.

It also led to a first Lionesses win against a top 10 national side since Wiegman took charge as head coach last September.

After their trophy win, the England chief, 52, said: “We know Millie is really strong with a header.

“But she has good feet too, so we thought we’d bring her up front and bring more pressure on their goal.

“We know it’s a risk, but it went our way and we put her back in defence too.

“We wanted to get some extra energy in the game and score a goal to win the tournament.

“We showed resilience even though we had a hard time keeping the ball in possession.

“You could see the teamwork and effort to really get that goal to win. That’s very satisfying.

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“We’ve shown we can win against any opponent but it’s really tight.

“Even though Germany missed lots of players they are still very strong and also Spain and Canada are good teams too.

“I think as a team we have grown really fast.”

Both sides came into the exchange without a win in the contest with Germany propping up the table following their 1-0 loss to Canada.

And England had won just one of their last seven duels played against their fierce rivals dating back almost eight years to November 2014.

While the visitors threatened with Lina Magull and Maximiliane Rall testing Ellie Roebuck early on, it was England who struck the first blow in the 15th minute.

They did so with Kirby and Georgia Stanway combining on the flank to tee up White for a trademark tap-in

And the early strike saw the Lionesses ace take her England goal tally to 49, level with Sir Bobby Charlton’s record.

Buoyed by that opener, the hosts attempted to up the ante to chants of Sweet Caroline from the 13,463 strong crowd.

They came close with a cracking Georgia Stanway volley around the half-hour mark moments after Klara Buhl forced a one-handed save from Roebuck.

However, they were dealt a first-half blow after conceding a free-kick following Alex Greenwood’s foul on Lea Schuller with the defender receiving a caution.  

And that set-piece led to a thunderbolt 41st-minute leveller from Magull with their rivals entering half time level.

The second spell saw Germany bring on Jule Brand who attempted to tee up Buhl.

And Lauren Hemp looked like she had a glorious chance to put England ahead in the 60th minute, forcing a save from Merle Frolms before being waved offside.

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Fran Kirby's 15th goal in an England vest saw the hosts put the game to bed at Molineux

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Fran Kirby’s 15th goal in an England vest saw the hosts put the game to bed at MolineuxCredit: Getty

There were cries from the crowd for a penalty nine minutes later with Nikita Parris hitting the turf after Guilia Gwinn.

Just as it looked if the game would finish 1-1 with Spain set to triumph, Hemp made a powerful drive forward.

The winger set up Bright for her second goal of the tournament in the 84th minute.

And Kirby topped off the fight back darting towards goal from inside her own half lofting the ball beyond Frohms to consign Germany to defeat.



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