Bronze rested as England progress

Lucy Bronze in action v France.
Lucy Bronze in action v France.

Alnwick’s Lucy Bronze played no part tonight, but can look ahead to further action as England won 2-1 against Colombia to qualify for the knockout phase of the World Cup in Canada.

Manager Mark Sampson made five changes from Saturday’s victory over Mexico with Bronze one of those to miss out despite being one of England’s best performers on Saturday. The 23-year-old limped off in the final 10 minutes of England’s 2-1 win, but allayed fears of a serious injury by saying on Twitter that she had been taken off as a precaution.

This evening, the Lionesses looked comfortable before the interval, going a goal up when Karen Carney was first to react after a Steph Houghton free-kick could only be parried by the Colombian keeper.

A Fara Williams penalty about five minutes before half-time – from a dubious handball decision – doubled their lead before the South Americans scored a late consolation goal, just as Mexico did four days earlier.

England and France both ended up with six points in Group F, but the French finished top on goal difference after thrashing Mexico 5-0 this evening.

Bronze, a former Duchess’s Community High School pupil, will no doubt hope to be fully fit and in the starting 11 for what will be a tricky last-16 clash against Norway, the former European, World and Olympic champions.

The Norwegians finished second in their group on goal difference to the current European champions Germany, winning two and drawing the other. The tie for a quarter-final place takes place in Ottawa on Monday night, kick-off 9pm.