After England beat Cameroon 3-0 yesterday to reach the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup, Millie Bright has spoken about her team’s performance and their next match against Norway.
Although VAR played a huge part in yesterday’s match at Valenciennes’ Stade du Hainaut, three goals from the Lionesses against Cameroon meant that they have booked a place in the last eight of the tournament for the fifth time and fourth consecutive World Cup.
Goals before the interval from Steph Houghton and Ellen White of Manchester City and Manchester United’s Alex Greenwood's second-half strike confirmed their spot. However, Bright and her defence had a shaky period and were tested midway through the second half when Cameroon had two quick-fire chances. Ajara Nchout buried her strike past Karen Bardsley, but VAR disallowed the goal for offside and Gaelle Enganamouit shot on target, but England’s no.1 pulled off a terrific save to deny the striker.
‘We’ve kept the momentum going into the next round which is what we want, and ultimately we wanted a good performance and three points, and that’s what we got.
‘I thought the girls performed brilliantly, I thought we were composed, and it’s nice to get some goals under our belts as well,’ Bright told the official Chelsea website.
‘We knew what sort of team they were, and we knew that they were going to bring that physical presence, but I think that is something we back ourselves on as well.
‘We made sure that we won that battle first and then got the ball down and passed it around, so I thought we dealt with that really well.’
In three out of four of England’s 2019 World Cup matches, the team have netted early on, and the centre-back explained the importance of getting the first goal in the opening stages of a game.
‘In tournament football, you want to get an early goal as it settles the game and then in the second half, you can push on from there. It always works better with a first goal because if the game stays 0-0, it gets tense.’
As England are set to play Norway next Bright, Fran Kirby, Karen Carney and Carly Telford will face their Blues team-mates Maren Mjelde and Maria Thorisdottir in Le Havre on 27 June. Bright expressed her excitement ahead of the big clash.
‘I’m excited obviously, when you’re away you want them to do really well, but at the same time it’s a World Cup, and that’s just another game that we want to go and win so we can progress into the semi-finals.
‘I’m looking forward to playing against them, but once you step over that white line, it’s game face on and you know to get the job done.’