Lucy and England on way to the Finals
Lucy Bronze and England are on their way to France for the finals of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.
A 3-0 win over Wales in Newport on Friday saw the Lionesses qualify as group winners, even though they still had one game left to play, away in Kazakhstan, on Tuesday
They also won that match in Pavlodar 6-0 with Bronze, who was named as a substitute in a much-changed side, amongst the scorers - she netted the sixth and final goal in the 87th minute.
England, who reached the semi-finals of the 2015 World Cup, will now play friendlies against Brazil and Australia in October as part of their build-up to the 2019 tournament finals in France.
Manager Phil Neville says he now believes his side can build on the success of Gareth Southgate’s side in Russia this summer.
England have also bid to host the 2021 Women’s European Championships and Neville said missing out on France would have been a ‘huge setback’ to their aspirations of staging the tournament.
Bronze, who plays her club football in France with Olympique Lyon, will effectively be on home ground for next year’s finals.
The former Manchester City defender became the first England player to win the BBC women’s footballer of the year award earlier this year.
She had been named in the original draft for the FIFA Women’s player of the year award, but missed out when the final short-list of three was announced on Monday.