Germany spoil the party for England women's record home crowd

England's Lauren Hemp (right) in action with Germany's Turid Knaak in a women's football friendly at the Wembley Stadium, London November 9, 2019. — Reuters pic
England's Lauren Hemp (right) in action with Germany's Turid Knaak in a women's football friendly at the Wembley Stadium, London November 9, 2019. — Reuters pic

LONDON, Nov 10 — Klara Buhl's late goal gave Germany a 2-1 friendly win over World Cup semi-finalists England yesterday to send home a record crowd for a Lionesses home match disappointed.

Buhl struck with less than a minute remaining on the clock in front of an attendance of 77,768.

That smashed the previous best for an England fixture, but fell short of the best-ever crowd for a women's match in the United Kingdom — when 80,000 saw the USA beat Japan to win gold at the 2012 Olympics.

Organisers had billed the game as a sellout with 86,000 tickets off-loaded, but a dreary and wet day in London may well have put off the less hardy and devoted supporters.

Alexandra Popp had given Germany the lead inside three minutes, with Phil Neville's side failing to level when Nikita Parris missed a penalty.

However, the hosts got back on level terms when Ellen White tucked away the ball before half-time.

“It's a dream come true to play at Wembley for your country and score,” said Manchester City striker White.

“It's unbelievable — the support, the noise, the atmosphere — we are really sorry we couldn't get the result.”

Buhl's late strike means England have lost five of their last seven matches, dating back to their heartbreaking World Cup semi-final defeat by the USA.

“It a was killer blow late on,” said Neville.

“The results are not good enough — there's no hiding away but there's a long-term plan that we have. We have to take the criticisms that come our way and stick together.

“I have been in football long enough and I know I need to take responsibilities, I need to make sure I improve as a manager and the players improve too.” — AFP