England claim Arnold Clark Cup with Molineux victory against Germany

England v Germany – Arnold Clark Cup – Molineux Stadium
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

England were crowned winners of the Arnold Clark Cup after late goals from Millie Bright and Fran Kirby secured a 3-1 victory over Germany at Molineux.

The Lionesses took the lead on the quarter-hour mark when record scorer Ellen White notched her 49th England goal, before Germany hit back through a fine Lina Magull free-kick four minutes prior to the break.

Bright then put the hosts back in front with six minutes of normal time remaining, pouncing after Lauren Hemp’s shot was blocked, and Kirby subsequently wrapped up the triumph in stoppage time.

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The result in front of a crowd 13,463 in Wolverhampton, following draws against Canada (1-1) in Middlesbrough and Spain (0-0) in Norwich, sees hosts England finish ahead of Spain on goal difference at the top of the invitational tournament’s final table.

It extended their record under Sarina Wiegman to nine matches unbeaten as the team added to the victories recorded in their six World Cup qualifiers before the turn of the year, and it is another encouraging sign ahead of this summer’s Euros on home soil.

England had only beaten Germany – ranked five places above them at third in the world – once before this in 26 meetings, and never before in a home match.

The early stages of the contest saw Ellie Roebuck, playing for the first time under Wiegman, make a couple of saves in quick succession, catching Maximiliane Rall’s header and stopping a Magull strike after misplacing an attempted pass.

Ellen White

Ellen White scored her 49th England goal (Nick Potts/PA)

England responded with Georgia Stanway sending a delivery across the danger zone at the other end and Kirby having a shot blocked.

And moments later the hosts were in front after Kirby tried to play a through-ball, made the most of a ricochet off Jana Feldkamp to do so again, and White took a touch before flicking an effort past Merle Frohms with the outside of her foot.

Stanway brought a save out of Frohms in the 23rd minute with a turn and volley, Roebuck was called upon to collect a firm Rall shot, and England made a change as Jess Carter, after going down, was replaced by Rachel Daly.

Germany then drew level as half-time approached through Magull’s delightful curling free-kick from just outside the box that went in off the crossbar.

After the break, the lively Hemp saw a shot kept out by Frohms’ boot in the 60th minute, only for the flag to go up for offside.

There were sighs of relief when an England mix-up at the back saw the ball worked to Sara Dabritz, who fired over.

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And after Nikita Parris had penalty appeals waved away by referee Lina Lehtovaara, the ball came to Lea Schuller right in front of the England goal, with Leah Williamson making a tackle and Roebuck gathering.

England went back on the attack, and Bright and Williamson sent attempts off-target before Hemp surged forward, saw her shot bounce off Feldkamp and Bright fired the loose ball in.

Kirby then put the seal on the victory and England winning the tournament as she burst into the box in the fourth minute of time added on at the end and sent the ball in off Frohms.

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