England Finishes 2022 Unbeaten With Friendly 1-1 Draw Against Norway

(Image credit: @Lionesses)

England Lionesses finished 2022 unbeaten after being held to a 1-1 friendly draw against Norway at Pinatar Arena, Spain.

In a scrappy first-half of few quality chances, Daly headed England ahead from Chloe Kelly’s direct forward cross in the 33rd minute.

England however couldn’t beat Norway goalkeeper, Aurora Mikalsen across their dominance and were punished in the 80th minute, as Ellie Roebuck fumbled a sweeping clearance which allowed substitute – Frida Maanum to equalise for the Norwegians.

Norway though had played the last 18 minutes with ten players after Anja Sønstevold was red carded following a second foul on Nikita Parris in the 72nd minute.

Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses eventually settled for a draw which ensured that they finished 2022 unbeaten in all competitions, alongside two trophies after they won Arnold Clark Cup in February then UEFA Women’s Euro in July.

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In a sluggish start for both teams, Emilie Havvi produced Norway’s first chance just two minutes in but Roebuck was alert to make the save.

Havvi then turned provider 20 minutes later as she teed up Guro Reiten with a pullback pass, although Reiten could only rifle her shot wide of the bottom-left corner.

England meanwhile struggled to produce much quality despite dominating possession until Lauren James went close in the 31st minute as she picked up a pass but her shot was comfortably saved by Aurora Mikalsen.

Lisa Naalsund one minute later went up the other end and rifled Havvi’s pullback pass over the bar.

That chance ultimately was punished just one further minute later as Daly headed in from Chloe Kelly’s direct forward pass to put Wiegman’s Lionesses in front.

Daly then pounced on a sloppy headed clearance but could only fire her shot wide across the goal, evading the bottom-right corner in the last decent first-half chance for either team.

Norway responded after the break as Amalie Eikeland saw shots denied either side of Daly’s 50th minute header wide of goal.

The Norwegians almost equalised in the 54th minute after Katie Zelem played a loose backpass to Roebuck, who blocked Sophie Roman Haug’s shot before Alex Greenwood cleared the subsequent loose ball.

Roebuck two minutes later cleared Reiten’s free-kick towards the top-left corner after substitute, Julie Blakstad had been fouled by Kelly.

Ella Toone and substitute, Georgia Stanway both had shots saved as England began to dominate possession again, whilst Anja Sønstevold was red carded in the 72nd minute for a second foul on Parris after being booked for an initial foul just six minutes earlier.

Kelly then vollyed wide from the resulting set-piece, as she latched onto Alessia Russo’s knockdown header, before the pair linked up again in the 78th minute with Kelly’s shot deflected wide.

Roebuck however fumbled a sweeping clearance in the 80th minute which allowed Norway substitute and Arsenal player, Maanum to fire into an empty net to equalise for ten-player Norway.

England quickly set about pushing for a late winner and Zelem won an injury-time free-kick which ultimately came to nothing, as both teams settled for a draw in a marked contrast from the Lionesses’ eight-goal mauling of Norway in at 2022 UEFA Women’s Euro.

Wiegman’s Lionesses therefore finished the calendar year unbeaten for the first time this century, and fourth time overall after having gone unbeaten in 1983, 86 and 93 previously.


What’s Next?

England will be back in action in 2023 as they defend their Arnold Clark Cup title against new opposition in February, as they take on South Korea, Italy and Belgium in mid-February.



England: Ellie Roebuck, Maya Le Tissier, Mille Bright (Morgan 45′), Alex Greenwood (Russo 63′), Niamh Charles, Ella Toone, Kiera Walsh (Zelem 45′), Lauren James (Stanway 45′), Nikita Parris (Robinson 83′), Rachel Daly, Chloe Kelly

Substitutes: Mary Earps, Georgia Stanway, Katie Zelem, Esme Morgan, Ebony Salmon, Jess Park, Alessia Russo, Katie Robinson, Sandy Maclver, Gabby George

Norway: Aurora Mikalsen, Anja Sønstevold, Guro Bergsvand, Emilie Havvi (Blakstad 45′), Mathilde Harviken, Thea Bjelde (Thorisidottir 73′), Ingrid Syrstad Engen, Sophie Roman Haug, Amalie Eikeland (Bøe Risa 73′), Lisa Naalsund (Maanum 61′), Guro Reiten

Substitutes: Guro Pettersen, Maria Thorsidottir, Thea Sørbo, Emilie Bragstad, Vilde Bøe Risa, Sunniva Skoglund, Celin Bizet Ildhusøy, Sara Hørte, Julue Blakstad, Frida Maanum, Elisabeth Terland, Marit Bratberg Lund, Anna Jøsendal, Karina Saevik

Referee: Zuzana Valentova (Slovakia)

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