England Women 1-1 Canada Women: Millie Bright’s volley canceled out by Janine Beckie’s stunner in Arnold Clark Cup | Football News

Millie Bright’s brilliant volley was canceled out by a stunning strike from Janine Beckie as England Women played out an entertaining 1-1 draw with Canada Women in their opening match of the Arnold Clark Cup.

England were dominant in the first half at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium and deservedly took the lead in the 22nd minute when Chelsea defender Bright fired in from inside the box after Fran Kirby passed a short corner to Alex Greenwood.

However, Olympic champions Canada started the second period the better of the two sides and equalized when Manchester City forward Beckie struck a goal-of-the-season contender from the edge of the box (55).

Both teams pushed for a winner late on but the match ended level, just as Germany’s earlier clash with Spain had done.

The result means Sarina Wiegman’s winning start to life as England Women head coach came to an end after six games, although the Canadians represented a significant step up in class from her side’s last fixture in November – a 20-0 win over Latvia in World Cup qualifying.

Canada’s Janine Beckie celebrates with team-mates after scoring vs England Women

England impress against Olympic champions

The draw on Teesside, coupled with equally-tough games against Spain on Sunday and Germany next Wednesday, are just the kind of tests England need ahead of the Euro 2022 finals this summer.

Mary Earps’ goal was the first to come under pressure when central defender Kadeisha Buchanan met Beckie’s 12th-minute corner with a firm header which was blocked before Deanne Rose lifted the rebound over the crossbar.

England skipper Leah Williamson, lining up in a midfield role, fired just wide from distance at the other end four minutes later after Lauren Hemp had chased down goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan’s hurried clearance, but Sheridan was picking the ball out of her net with 22 minutes gone .

For the third time in the game and the second in quick succession, Kirby pulled a corner short to the left foot of Alex Greenwood and, although Sheridan punched her cross away from the immediate danger zone, Bright returned it with interest courtesy of a sweet volley to open the scoring.

Millie Bright
Bright’s superb strike was the highlight of a commanding performance from the center-back against Canada

Bev Priestman’s side responded as Desiree Scott and Julia Grosso started to make their presence felt in midfield, but with Keira Walsh dogged and Bright equally uncompromising behind her, they made little tangible progress.

Buchanan had to block from Russo and Ella Toone after Hemp had got in behind the Canadian defense once again 10 minutes before the break, and Hemp hooked a 43rd-minute attempt wide from Williamson’s floated cross to send the home side in at the break well in control, but only a single goal to the good.

The visitors adopted a much higher press as the second half unfolded in an attempt to deny the hosts time and space, and the ploy paid dividends 10 minutes after the restart when Beckie cut inside onto her left foot and thumped an unstoppable shot across Earps and into the top corner.

Hemp might have restored England’s lead within three minutes after breaking free down the left once again, although her effort was beaten away by Sheridan as Canada’s resurgence continued.

Wiegman’s response was to make four changes, one of which saw Lucy Bronze introduced for the first time since undergoing knee surgery in the summer, but it was fellow new arrival Beth Mead who tested Sheridan from range with 18 minutes remaining.

Jess Carter produced a vital block to deny substitute Nichelle Prince, who later shot straight at Earps when she might have done better and Sheridan saved from Georgia Stanway in stoppage time, but there was to be no late winner.

Wiegman: We must be more ruthless

England head coach Sarina Wiegman to ITV Sport: “This was the competitive match we needed. We explored all situations in the game.

“We played a very good first half, we were a little sloppy, but we created chances. We have to be more ruthless to score the chances we create.

“The second half was sloppier, we lost too many balls and had some hard times, but it was good to see how reacted to that.”

‘That’s the England I know’

Canada head coach Bev Priestman: “In the first half we weren’t ourselves. We made adjustments in the second half and it was a much better account of ourselves.

“I’m incredibly proud of the performance and this team gave everything as they always do. We were on the ropes at times and we had chances at times so I think it was a fair reflection.

“England look more like the England I know. They are on their journey towards the Euros. They look way more ready than we have seen the last two times we played them. You would expect that group to do really well at a Euros on home soil. They were great tonight. “

What’s next?

England face Spain at Carrow Road on Sunday, kick-off 3.15pm. Canada take on Germany at the same venue, kick-off 8.15pm.

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