In the injury-enforced absence of European Championship and Finalissima-winning skipper Leah Williamson, Chelsea defender Bright took the Lionesses armband for a shot at global glory Down Under. Sarina Wiegman’s side defied fitness setbacks, red cards and penalty shootouts to make it all the way to the final in Sydney, but a solitary effort from Olga Carmona proved to be their undoing with a historic global crown up for grabs.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
Bright told BBC Sport of missing out on World Cup glory: “This is really hard to take. We gave it everything. We had chances, we hit the bar, but we just didn't have the final edge and they got theirs in back of the net. We're absolutely heartbroken. We gave everything. Unfortunately we just weren't there.”
AND WHAT'S MORE
Dutch coach Wiegman has now suffered two World Cup final defeats, having led her native Netherlands to a showpiece showdown with the USWNT in 2019, and she admits that emotions are raw in the England camp. She said: “Of course it feels really bad now, very disappointing. You go into the final and you want to give everything and then you lose it. That happens in sports but what we have done, how we have shown ourselves, who we are, how we want to play as a team, overcoming so many challenges - I think we can be so proud of ourselves, although it doesn't feel like it at the moment.”
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
England must now turn their attention to the UEFA Women’s Nations League, with that campaign due to get underway in a meeting with neighbours Scotland on September 22.