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‘Ecstatic’ Bronze revels in historic wonder goal

It was the MCWFC show in Canada on Monday night as England Women won a World Cup knockout game for the first time ever.

Lucy Bronze took the Lionesses’ share of the headlines with a goal worth its weight in gold – a stunning strike from the edge of the area which won the day and booked a quarter-final clash against Canada on Sunday.

However, the roaming right-back wasn’t the only MCWFC star to shine against Norway in Ottawa.

Captain Steph Houghton had headed in the equaliser on the hour mark, Karen Bardsley had kept England in it with a string of fine first-half saves, Toni Duggan ran herself into the ground for the cause and Jill Scott emerged from the bench to inspire the turnaround.

Following the full-time whistle, an “ecstatic” Bronze paid tribute to her teammates and signposted a mouthwatering clash against the hosts.

"Normally I'd pass, but in training people have said 'why don't you shoot when you're on the edge of the box? Shoot, shoot, you're always there'," said the 23-year-old. "So in my head I thought 'I'm going to shoot'.

"I guess scoring the goal is a bit of history but it was a team effort and it was a very tough game to play in. I'm ecstatic that we've won and have gone through.

"What a terrific game that's going to be [against Canada]. We saw yesterday (when Canada beat Switzerland) that it was a sold-out crowd and now we can look forward to that and put this game to bed.”

Houghton’s headed goal from a corner won by a typically tenacious run from Scott had paved the way for Bronze’s history-making strike.

The England and City skipper revealed her pride at the result and declared that the team had sent out a message to its critics.

"I'm so proud of everyone that is involved," said Houghton. "We've come a long way in this tournament and took a bit of stick after the France game about how we played.

"We dug deep and showed a bit of character under great pressure."

England Head Coach Mark Sampson echoed his captain’s words and described Bronze as “potentially the best right-back in the world” after the game.

He said: "They knew this was a big game and they wanted to write their names into our football history," said Sampson.

"They have made history and deserve all the credit in the world. They stepped up and delivered for the country.

“We've seen in this tournament that if you concede the first goal it's incredibly difficult to win a game.

"This group of 23 players has shown resilience, character and discipline to come back and win that match. We'll take huge confidence from that victory."

England meet Canada in Vancouver on Sunday 28 June at 12.30am (BST).

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