Lucy Bronze has made her England women’s senior team debut – and she thought she’d capped the unforgettable occasion with a goal, only to see her effort disallowed.
The 21-year-old replaced right-back Dunia Susi in the 66th minute during the nation’s 1-1 friendly draw with world champions Japan last Wednesday.
And the Liverpool Ladies defender appeared to put the icing on the cake when she found the net from close range in the last minute.
But her effort, which would surely have been the winner, was ruled out for offside against team-mate Jess Clarke.
The appearance at Burton Albion’s Pirelli Stadium was still an occasion to savour for the former Duchess’s Community High School pupil.
“I was quite surprised actually. When they said that I was going to come on I was like okay and when they asked me if I was excited I said yes,” she told FATV after the clash.
“It was a tough match but I really enjoyed it. I love playing at right-back and I got to join in and it was really fun.”
Eniola Aluko put England ahead just before the break, but they were pegged back by Nahomi Kawasumi’s strike with 14 minutes left on the clock.
Reflecting on the disallowed goal, Bronze told FATV: “I remember someone flicking it in front of me and I volleyed it towards the goal because it was kind of open and then I celebrated but then everyone stopped and I turned round and someone else was offside. I was gutted.”
The match was England’s final home game before this month’s UEFA Women’s Euro 2013.
The Three Lions take on hosts Sweden tonight (6pm BST) in a friendly before the tournament begins.
England are in Group C alongside Spain, who they will face on July 12, Russia (July 15) and France (July 18).
Bronze believes the Japan draw will give the side belief.
“The whole team has got a great deal of confidence.
“We all did a job against Japan and I think it is a good sign for the Euros.”