Published 20 February 2022 5 min read
England Women's Senior Team
England held by Spain in Norwich
- B. Mead (48′)
- G. Stanway (66′)
Arnold Clark Cup Group Stage
Sunday 20 February, 03:15 PM Carrow Road
HT: 0 - 0
- Ivana Andrés (32′)
A second successive draw for England in the Arnold Clark Cup as it finishes all-square at Carrow Road
England’s wait for a first Arnold Clark Cup victory goes on as the Lionesses were held to an entertaining 0-0 draw by Spain at Carrow Road.
Sarina Wiegman’s side drew 1-1 with Canada in their opener on Thursday – the first time she’d failed to win as England boss – but were unable to grab their maiden triumph of the campaign three days later after missing a series of chances in Norwich.
Spain head coach Jorge Vilda had hailed Wiegman’s side as the best England team ever heading into the contest but it was the visitors, ranked one place below them as the world’s No.9 side, who dominated possession throughout the first half.
Homegrown hero Lauren Hemp hit a post after the break and while Ellen White and Jordan Nobbs both went close, the Lionesses were unable to snatch a breakthrough and remain on two points heading into Wednesday’s final game against Germany at Molineux.
Wiegman’s Lionesses came energetically out of the blocks as they pressed the Spaniards high in front of a buzzing Norfolk crowd.
Veteran Jill Scott – who has racked up over 150 caps since making her international debut back in 2006 – shot wide while Nobbs, Beth Mead and Georgia Stanway continued to offer an outlet for the hosts.
But it was Spain who saw the bulk of the ball and when Jess Carter and debutant goalkeeper Hannah Hampton were involved in a mix-up, they nearly took the lead when Aitana Bonmati’s attempted lob from distance went over the bar.
White, the Lionesses’ all-time leading goalscorer, drew a first-half booking from defender Ivana Andres before then almost latching on to Mead’s inviting cross to give the hosts the lead.
Spain continued to casually play the ball out from the back but England’s organisation and tireless work rate out of possession helped ensure the two sides went into the break level.
The introduction of local talent Hemp at half time prompted a rapturous reception from the near-15,000-strong crowd and the Manchester City ace’s impact almost came to stunning immediate fruition.
The former Norwich forward, 21, received the ball on the edge of the Spanish box before her clever curling shot cannoned off a Carrow Road post.
Wiegman’s side sought to pounce and went close to breaking the deadlock once again when White was denied by a brilliant last-ditch tackle by Maria Leon as she was through on the Spanish goal.
And the Lionesses missed another golden chance just moments later when the dangerous Nobbs dragged wide after a searing run into the box.
The entertaining spectacle continued when García Córdoba fired wide before Athenea del Castillo forced a save from Hampton.
The contest became increasingly frenetic as the game entered the closing stages, with Hemp continuing to carry the Lionesses’ most potent outlet in and around the Spanish box.
Substitutes Fran Kirby and Ella Toone almost combined to score before at the other end, the impressive Del Castillo fired a shot into the side netting.
And it took a fine acrobatic save from Hampton in injury-time to keep the two sides level, brilliantly thwarting Del Castillo to salvage the Lionesses a point heading into their final Cup encounter in Wolverhampton this week.
What they said...
Lauren Hemp said: “I think Spain were unbelievable, they played us out of the park sometimes but we counteracted that and I thought we did well, we created chances ourselves. We’re just gutted with the end product, we had loads of chances but we just couldn’t put them away today.
“I think we’ve got a lot of positives to take from that. Obviously they have a fantastic team but I think we did great against them. It was a 0-0 draw, we’ll take the positives away and we’ve still got things we need to work on and a process heading into the Euros.
[On playing in Norwich, her hometown]: “It’s unbelievable, it’s every kid’s dream to play for England and to be able to do that at a place I call home is just amazing. I’m lucky to be here, and we’ve got a great, packed-out stadium today, so I couldn’t ask for more.”
England head coach Sarina Wiegman said: “[It was] high intensity, I think a game at a very high level, and it sounds like 0-0 is very boring but it really wasn’t I think, a very open game, we both wanted to score, and they had a little more on the ball but that’s fine.
“We were dangerous, I think we had about six chances. They had some too. So next up is that we rewire ourselves and score those goals.
“We have many players in our squad, as a team we’re really strong so we played with different connections, different players that we saw—that’s hard.
“We had a plan and everyone knew what we were going to do, and I think we did a pretty good job in that, and that’s what we’ll take from it.”
England (4-3-3): 13 Hannah Hampton; 12 Lucy Bronze; 15 Jess Carter; 5 Alex Greenwood; 2 Rachel Daly; 18 Jordan Nobbs; 20 Jill Scott; 14 Georgia Stanway; 17 Nikita Parris; 9 Ellen White (c); 16 Beth Mead
Substitutes: 11 Lauren Hemp for Parris 45’; 4 Keira Walsh for Nobbs 62’; 8 Leah Williamson for Scott 62’; 7 Fran Kirby for Mead 72’; 10 Ella Toone for Stanway 80’
Substitutes not used: 1 Mary Earps; 3 Demi Stokes; 6 Millie Bright; 19 Niamh Charles; 21 Ellie Roebuck; 22 Alessia Russo; 23 Katie Zelem
Spain (4-3-3): 23 Misa Rodriguez; 5 Ivana Andres; 16 Mapi Leon; 2 Ona Batlle; 14 Alexia Putellas; 12 Patri Guijarro; 6 Aitana Bonmati; 10 Jenni Hermoso (c); 17 Lucia Garcia; 4 Sheila Garcia; 18 Marta Cardona
Substitutes: 8 Mariona Caldentey for Cardona 46’; Olga Carmona for Batlle 62’; Amaiur Sarriegi for L Garcia 74’
Substitutes not used: 13 Sandra Panos; 21 Nerea Eizagirre; 20 Andrea Pereira; 7 Irene Guerrero; 9 Esther Gonzalez; 3 Laia Aleixandri; 1 Lola Gallardo; 22 Claudia Pina; 15 Leila Ouahabi
Highlights of England Women v Spain