Russo scores for Lionesses but Sweden draw even after poor show from England at Wembley

England’s Lionesses went head to head with Sweden last night, at Wembley Stadium in London, in Matchday 1 of the Women’s Euro 2025 qualifiers. The match ended in a 1-1 draw, with both teams taking 1 point from the encounter. England, who are the defending Euro champions, having won Euro 2022, when the tournament was hosted in the UK, did not put on their best performance.

Arsenal Women striker Alessia Russo was one of England’s most switched-on players before she was substituted in the second half. But she was not happy with England’s performance.

“Sweden are a top side, our group is tough. We’re a good side too so I think it’s disappointing but we’ve come up against a strong side,” Russo said post-match.

“Our standards are high, we know we can demand higher of each other. We will own that, but across the board, there were lower standards that we can improve on.

“We struggled to figure out the problems but we did get a draw. Every result and every point counts.”

The atmosphere at Wembley was very flat, after a big build-up to the event. England fans seemed bored, as Sweden ruled the 2nd half, with little fight-back from the Lionesses. Sweden’s Fridolina Rolfo scored in the 2nd half, drawing Sweden even. Not a great start for the reigning Euro champions..

England have been drawn into a tough group for the Euro qualifiers yes, but that should not daunt the reigning champions. Group A3 includes England, Sweden, France and the Republic of Ireland. Only the top two teams from their group will qualify automatically for next summer’s Euros, which will take place in Switzerland, with the other two sides entering the play-offs.

The Lionesses will face Katie McCabe’s Republic of Ireland, at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, on Tuesday 9th April. Hopefully training will focus on what went wrong for England and, more importantly, what Sarina Wiegman can do about it. Post-match Sarina Wiegman talked of her disappointment at the result.

“This group is really tough. Of course I’m disappointed – because we always want to win,” Wiegman said.

“At the end of the game, if you watch it back, we were very close to scoring a goal. Overall it was a pretty equal game. We had more possession of the ball but you can see also how dangerous their counter-attacks were. I think the draw reflects how the game was.”

Arsenal legend Ian Wright, had this to say after the game “England gave Sweden the impetus. We were very poor tonight, especially in the midfield area, where we were very sloppy. We are fortunate to not lose that game.”

What did you think of the match Gooners?

Michelle M

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