England’s Lionesses played out a dour goalless draw against France on Friday night, but manager Mark Sampson hailed it as a moral victory.
He said after the match, “You can only test yourselves against the best.
“That’s how you find out how good you are – and I think we definitely raised the bar.”
Toni Duggan thought she had won the match in the dying seconds, only to see a flag raised indicating the ball had run out of play.
Other than that, chances were few and far between in a match contested by two of the FIFA-ranked best teams in the world.
They do not have long to wait until their next test – they face Spain in Madrid on Tuesday evening, where Birmingham goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley will join the squad as a replacement for the injured Siobhan Chamberlain.
The England Under-19s have been having a far more goal-laden time of it than their senior counterparts, putting on a thrilling display at the Women’s International Cup in Northern Ireland.
They beat the hosts 5-0 having already edged their way past the USA by two goals to one, and finished off with a 3-1 win over France – meaning they won the tournament with a 100 per cent record.
WSL action resumes next weekend – and players will be heartened to have heard the confirmation that the 2017 FA Women’s Cup final will once again be held at Wembley for the third year running.
Tickets are on sale now.
*Carrie Dunn is SHOOT’s Women’s Football correspondent. Her book ‘The Roar of the Lionesses: Women’s Football in England’ is out now – available in all good bookshops.*