Wiegman on closing the gap to USA after 2-1 victory at Wembley

England defeated the USA in a friendly match against the world champions at Wembley Stadium last night (October 7) in front of 76,893 fans.

After winning the Women's Euro 2022 tournament this summer, the Lionesses continued their unbeaten run under manager Sarina Wiegman with a 2-1 win, but it wasn't without some nail-biting drama.

The home side went ahead after just 10 minutes thanks to a goal from Manchester City winger Lauren Hemp.

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Near the half-an-hour mark, the USA's Sophia Smith scored an equaliser.

However, a high boot on the face of Lucy Bronze caused the VAR monitor to be checked by referee Riem Hussein where England was awarded a penalty in the 33rd minute which Georgia Stanway put in the back of the net to make it 2-1.

Though the action didn't stop there as the USA had a goal disallowed in the 37th minute for narrowly being offside.

Throughout the match, each side had different opportunities to score but more drama (and controversy) came in the 81st minute when the USA was awarded a penalty for handball which was ultimately overturned by Hussein after she checked the VAR monitor.

After the match, England boss Wiegman said: "That was really intense, just what we wanted

"USA played as we expected, they gave us hard times sometimes. I thought we played well in moments, better first half than second."

It was also put to Wiegman whether her team are now favourites going into next year's World Cup after defeating the World Champions.

"The target is there all the time!" she said.

"Whatever happens we know this is just a starting point for the World Cup, but it shows you are at a very high level."

Former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright who commentated on the match praised Sophia Smith's performance and described the match as a "fantastic result" for the Lionesses.

Labour leader Keir Starmer attended the game and congratulated the Lionesses on "a tough game, but deserved winners."

Dawn Butler, Labour MP for Brent Central posted a video of herself watching the match from the crowd at Wembley Stadium.

"Lovely match...well done @Lionesses," she tweeted.

Fans of the Lionness also took to social media to applaud their performance.

Another key moment from the match day included the surviving players of the first England women’s international squad from 1972 being awarded bespoke historic caps by captain Leah Williamson and ex-England player Jill Scott who retired after the Euros this summer.

While both England and the USA came together before kick-off to stand in solidarity with sexual abuse victims as the two teams stood behind a banner that read "Protect the Players."

Players of England and USA pose for a photograph with a banner reading 'Protect the Players' prior to the Women's International Friendly match between England and USA at Wembley Stadium on October 07, 2022 in London, EnglandPhoto by Naomi Baker - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

The powerful moment came after an inquiry found "systemic" abuse and misconduct in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).

During the match, players could also be seen wearing teal armbands to spread this important message.

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