Sunday, November 27, 2022

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Wiegman urges England to learn from Czech Republic stalemate

Sarina Wiegman admitted England need to do better after suffering a goalless draw against the Czech Republic at the Amex Stadium.

The Lionesses were on a 15-game winning streak after beating the United States 2-1 on Friday but were unable to extend their winning streak against a side ranked No. 28 in the world.

However, they extended their unbeaten streak to 24 games, but were unable to prevail in front of 21,222 spectators, despite scoring twice.

The manager admitted she was disappointed but said her side had learned from the stalemate.

“We are absolutely disappointed because we think we could have won. We knew Czech was a very tough opponent, very physical and direct,” said Wiegman.

“I think we just had to do it a little bit better, we had a couple of chances. In the first half we hit the post, in the second half we had three chances to score and we didn’t make it. A very good learning moment for us.”

It was a game of milestones and first appearances with Lucy Bronze winning her 100th cap for England while Esme Morgan made her debut and Lauren James her first starting XI.

Wiegman believes the Czech Republic were as challenging as they expected, adding: “They were (difficult to play) because of course we saw them against the USA.

“They tied the Netherlands twice in the qualifying rounds. We saw how strong they were, how physical they were, but I was hoping we would have broken through their defenses quicker.”

The visitors had a chance in the second minute from a corner, but Klara Cahynova’s shot went over the bar.

The Czech Republic had to resort to long-range attempts as their tactics did not support a numerical attack. Tereza Krejcirikova tried her luck just before the hour mark, but her shot went wide of the target.

Head coach Karel Rada stressed that his side were happy with the result against the European champions but stressed that their goal is to qualify for a major tournament.

“We’re very happy knowing about England’s great run of winning the European Championship and I think so many teams around the world would be happy about that result, so tonight we’re happy in Brighton,” said Rada .

He added: “We’ve played some great games, for example against USA, Netherlands, we’ve drawn some against them and today and these games give us confidence.

“These games help us a lot, but our dream is clear, we haven’t played in the European Championships or World Cups yet, so our goal is to qualify (for these tournaments).”

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