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Home ยป Wiegman Turning Over Every Stone To Find A Path To World Cup Glory For Resilient Lionesses

Wiegman Turning Over Every Stone To Find A Path To World Cup Glory For Resilient Lionesses

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Digging deep, clinging on and scraping through.

Today the Lionesses drew on their resilience when the World Cup dream seemed to be slipping away from them, to reach the quarter-finals.

Perhaps it’s just the sign of a successful team when you can be completely overwhelmed by superior and savvier opposition and emerge unscathed.

Well, not completely.

England’s frustrations boiled over with the stamp by Lauren James that saw her sent off.

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England reach World Cup quarter final A one-game ban will be served in the last eight, and FIFA could yet impose a tougher punishment on the 21-year-old player who had been the star of the tournament for Sarina Wiegman’s side so far.

“She’s an inexperienced player on this stage and has done really well, and I think in a split second she just lost her emotions,” Wiegman said.

“And of course she doesn’t want to hurt anyone. She’s the sweetest person I know, and things happen like that and you can’t change it anymore, so it’s a huge lesson for her to learn, but of course it’s not something that she really did on purpose.”

Image: England’s Lauren James (centre) and Nigeria’s Michelle Alozie (right) battle for the ball There was an apology delivered to the dressing room by James.

And rather than publicly dwelling on the moment of madness, England captain Millie Bright drew on the lessons learnt.

“In a game where we are challenged and pushed to our limits,” she said. “We are ready to face absolutely any team and anything,” she added.

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There would have been a different complexion on the post-match inquest were it not for the four penalties that were converted after extra time.

It took the 4-2 victory in the shootout – completed by Euro 2022 final match-winner Chloe Kelly – to secure England’s passage to the last eight.

Image: Goalkeeper Mary Earps during the penalty shootout It was a nervy climax to the match but it had been even nervier for the previous 120 minutes as England lived dangerously – protecting a 0-0 draw to force penalties.

“It’s a very special environment, a very special pressure cooker,” goalkeeper Mary Earps said. “You’re obviously trying to build as much mental resilience as possible anyway.”

Resilience England demonstrated they have in abundance – while preferring not to rely on it.

They already know up next will be quarter-final first-timers. Whether it is Jamaica or Colombia will be determined on Tuesday.

Image: Fans celebrate England win Beyond the absence of James will be a decision for Wiegman on whether Keira Walsh can start again after struggling to make an impact after a week sidelined with a knee injury.

Wiegman said: “I have never experienced so many problems, but of course it’s my job to think of things that can happen in a game or in a tournament or ahead of the tournament.

“So you try to turn every stone, and then try to already think of a solution if things happen, and today we got totally tested on those turned stones.”

But unlike the Women’s World Cup heavyweights of the United States, Brazil and Germany, it is England still in this tournament – with a chance of winning the prize for the first time.