‘We needed that’ - England coach Sarina Wiegman relishes ‘challenge’ after narrow Finalissma win over Brazil
- England beat Brazil in penalties
- Wiegman's second trophy with England
- Admitted that her troops were "challenged" by Brazil
WHAT HAPPENED? The Lionesses triumphed over Brazil in the first-ever women's Finalissima, winning 4-2 in a penalty shootout after the two teams were locked at 1-1 at the end of extra time.
England converted four of their five spot-kicks, with Chloe Kelly converting the winning penalty to hand her team the second silverware after winning the UEFA European Women's Championship in July 2022.
Brazil, ranked ninth in the world, put up a formidable performance at Wembley and Wiegman admitted that it was the "challenge" they needed before heading to Australia in the quest of winning the FIFA Women's World Cup in July.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "We were really challenged and we needed that. To be aware of those moments and how we can do better. If you're not challenged before the World Cup you won't have that practice. We can always take learnings and I think that was really good from tonight. I'm happy," she stated after the win.
"I think the first half was really good but we were challenged a lot in possession in the second half. Brazil also wanted a big challenge before the World Cup and we saw that. In the first half we played really well, we had a lot of possession created a lot of chances and scored an incredible goal."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Brazil upped the ante in the second half after they made a tactical tweak, shifting to a 4-4-2 formation after starting with a back-five, which pushed England onto the backfoot.
However, Wiegman's troops showed the "resilience" to adapt to the situation which impressed the manager. "When they (Brazil) went to a 4-4-2 in the second half we were struggling. Sometimes when we got out of the press we were offside," she added.
"Congratulations to Brazil as well, they played a really good game, particularly in the second half, they really challenged us. I've known Pia [Sundhage] for a long time and was a little surprised in the first half (with Brazil playing a back five). I think our team did really well by just showing resilience."
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WHAT NEXT? England will next face Australia on April 11 in an international friendly at the Gtech Community Stadium as part of their World Cup preparations.