England Women 1-1 Norway: Late Ellie Roebuck error denies Lionesses victory despite Anja Sonstevold red card


England drew 1-1 with Norway in a friendly on Tuesday night to round off an unbeaten 2022.

Any sense of a repeat of the 8-0 drubbing dished out in the summer’s European Championships was some way away as the two sides paired up well in Murcia.

Norway, set up off the ball in a deep 5-4-1 fomation, favoured sitting deep and soaking up long spells of England possession, Emilie Haavi breaking the line early on and forcing a near-post save from Ellie Roebuck.

Lionesses debutant Maya Le Tissier was at home on the ball but continued to be targeted at the back, a pair of errors ending with Chelsea’s Guro Reiten side-footing a gilt-edged chance wide.

England boasted only a single shot for their 70 per-cent of the ball for the opening half hour until Lauren James threatened with a smart piece of skill and shot, straight at the goalkeeper.

Makeshift striker Rachel Daly popped up moments later to head the breakthrough goal, deftly flicking Chloe Kelly’s fine ball from deep into the back of the net.

The goal improved the European champions’ tempo and Wiegman went to her bench for further impetus at the break, introducing Georgia Stanway, Katie Zelem and Esme Morgan.

It was Zelem who undersold Roebuck with a weak backpass as England meekly passed the ball around their own final third, the goalkeeper smothering the shot well before pulling off a fine diving stop to deny Reiten’s free-kick a few minutes later.

Wiegman brought on Alessia Russo to freshen up her attack and drop Daly into a more natural position as the second half drifted by at a friendly pace, aside from two cynical fouls on Nikita Parris from Anja Sonstevold that earned two bookings and a red card on 73 minutes.

Despite the player disadvantage, Norway grabbed a late leveller as Roebuck rushed off her line and failed to connect with a kick clear, allowing Frida Maanum a simple finish.