England defender Lucy Bronze admitted her goal against Scotland was something she had practiced during the World Cup.
Just over a month since their World Cup final defeat against Spain, the Lionesses earned an inaugural Nations League victory on Friday night with a 2-1 win against Scotland in Sunderland.
Bronze put the hosts ahead in the 39th minute after a fantastic pass from Katie Zelem picked out the former Black Cat, who made a perfectly timed run to head home.
She told the England website: “It was something we worked on in the World Cup. But it never came off then, so we saved it for tonight instead.”
Lauren Hemp then doubled the lead for the hosts six minutes later before Kirsty Hanson pulled one back with the last kick of the half.
Scotland had plenty of opportunities to level after the break, with arguably their best chance coming when Hanson smashed a rebound off the crossbar.
England goalkeeper Mary Earps was also forced to make good saves from Martha Thomas and Christy Grimshaw and Bronze admits Hanson’s goal gave the visitors plenty of confidence in the second half.
“Them getting that goal right before half-time changed the momentum of the game,” Bronze added.
“Right until the end, they were creating chances but in the first half we did enough, we were by far the better side in that first half.
“The second half was a little bit more even, we made a couple more mistakes and they got a lot of confidence from scoring that goal in the first half.
“They looked a little shaky at the beginning and we looked a little more confident. A couple of sloppy passes on our behalf let them back in the game.”
A hard-fought three points at a lively Stadium of Light sees England go second in Group A1 of the competition and boss Sarina Wiegman was pleased to see Bronze score on home turf.
“I was of course very happy for her but also very happy for the team, she’s from this area so that makes it extra special,” she said.
“I think it was really special anyway to be here in a sold-out Stadium of Light, we’ve been here two years ago and this was a little different because it was packed.
Full-time scenes in Sunderland. 😊 pic.twitter.com/6KAzVosHnI
— Lionesses (@Lionesses) September 22, 2023
“The noise even from the start of the game was really nice and the pitch was really good, an incredible pitch.
“The timing of that moment, the pass from Katie Zelem and the timing of her run and the header was really good.”
Up next for England in the competition is a trip to Utrecht to face the Netherlands on Tuesday.