There was a record-setting crowd at Wembley Stadium for England Women’s defeat against Germany and two Chelsea Women players were on target earlier this weekend in European Championship qualifiers.
The FA revealed midway through October that all tickets had been sold for a friendly between the Lionesses and one of women’s football’s top international sides, and 77,768 were in attendance to set a new record for an England Women’s fixture.
Those supporters of a Chelsea persuasion will have been disappointed that the three players from Emma Hayes’ squad – Millie Bright, Bethany England and Carly Telford – remained on the bench throughout as the Lionesses succumbed to a 2-1 defeat.
A former Blue, Ellen White, was on target for Phil Neville’s side shortly before half-time to cancel out Alexandra Popp’s early opener, but Klara Buhl struck a stoppage-time winner to ensure a momentous afternoon ended on a negative note.
However, history will show this as a huge landmark for the women’s game in this country, as the attendance surpassed the 70,584 who watched Team GB beat Brazil in the Olympics in 2012. The final of that tournament, between USA and Japan, retains the record for a women’s football match in the UK, though, as it attracted 80,203 supporters.
Another prestigious friendly match took place on Thursday evening, as the World Cup-winning US Women’s national team took on Sweden to kick off the reign of new head coach Vlatko Andonovski. Blues defenders Magdalena Eriksson and Jonna Andersson were both in action for the Swedes, but they found themselves 3-0 down inside the first 30 minutes. However, two late goals by Anna Anvegard restored a bit of pride for the Scandinavians.
Elsewhere, Scotland made it six points from six in their bid to qualify for the European Championship in 2021, recording a 5-0 victory over Albania in which Erin Cuthbert scored and claimed an assist. Last season’s Blues Player of the Year slotted home their third goal on Friday evening and then teed up Hannah Godfrey for a goal on her international debut. Shelley Kerr’s side currently trail Finland, but they have a game in hand.
Maren Mjelde celebrated her 30th birthday with her Norwegian international team-mates on Wednesday, and two days later there was further cause for celebration as they continued their perfect start to the qualifying campaign. Mjelde’s fellow Blue Guro Reiten was on target in a 6-0 victory over Northern Ireland which leaves the World Cup quarter-finalists five points clear of Wales at the top of the standings, albeit having played a game more.