‘We know how to win finals’, as England defender Lucy Bronze targets Women’s World Cup gold
SYDNEY – Right-back Lucy Bronze believes England’s experience in winning a major final at Euro 2022 could be crucial in Sunday’s Women’s World Cup title decider against a Spain side she knows well.
Bronze lost World Cup semi-finals with England in 2015 and 2019 but was a core member of the Lionesses team who beat Germany to win a first major title at the European Championship.
The 31-year-old, who plays her club football in Spain for Barcelona, was again a rock in defence on Wednesday when England neutralised a big crowd in Sydney to beat co-hosts Australia 3-1 and reach their first World Cup final.
“We’re going up against a team I personally know very well,” she told reporters after the match.
“We know how to win finals. That’s something Spain doesn’t have that we have. That’s an experience that not only I have but many of these England players have ...
“I’m excited,” she added. “I’m really good friends with a couple of them, my teammates in Barcelona, myself and Keira (Walsh) know them very well.
“We’ve been speaking to them throughout the tournament and even before the tournament started we had a joke, saying, ‘We’ll see you in the final’ and that’s come true.”
England needed a huge defensive effort and were forced to come from a goal down to beat Spain in extra time in the quarter-finals of Euro 2022 on home ground.
Although they arrived at the World Cup as one of the favourites, they came without key players because of injury and then lost one of their best performers, Lauren James, to a ban after she was shown a red card in their match against Nigeria.
Bronze said England’s resilience in the face of such setbacks would also hold them in good stead back at Stadium Australia on Sunday.
“The strength of this team is we stick together, we’ve got an incredibly tight bond, we’ve got a tight-knit team,” she said.
“Winning the Euros last gave us a huge amount of confidence but we’ve suffered a few losses this year in terms of big players, a lot of noise on the outside and it’s just pushed us closer together.
“Before the tournament, people had us down to get knocked out in the group or something, and now we’re in the final.” - REUTERS