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Beckie wonder goal helps Canada nab a draw after Bright strikes for Lionesses

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JANINE BECKIE gatecrashed a smashing night for Millie Bright as the Lionesses bared their claws in a high-tempo draw with Canada.

The Manchester City ace’s wonder strike cancelled out Bright’s stunning volley as both sides laid down markers in the Arnold Clark Cup.

Millie Bright put England 1-0 up with a classy first-half volley

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Millie Bright put England 1-0 up with a classy first-half volleyCredit: Getty
Janine Beckie pulled a goal back for Canada with the Olympic gold medallists sharing the spoils

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Janine Beckie pulled a goal back for Canada with the Olympic gold medallists sharing the spoilsCredit: AFP

And the clash saw England concede their first goal in a game under boss Sarina Wiegman.

However Bright vowed the contest hosts would build on their performance and pledged to smash in more goals for her side.

The England defender said: “Adding goals to my game is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, club and country.

“I’m really pleased the hard work is paying off and just happy I can contribute to the team.”

On Bright’s efforts, Wiegman added: “She had a big impact because she scored that goal and in the last few minute she headed a cross away.

“Millie’s contribution was absolutely huge.”

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A few yards from the Riverside Stadium is Priestman Road, which prompted some to question if this was an ominous sign in favour of Bev Priestman’s stars.

If it was, England did not seem to care as they exploited Lauren Hemp’s searing pace to torment their rivals in a frenetic first half.

They had a fine chance to go 1-0 up with Hemp catching goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan dawdling around the 15th minute.

A few seconds later Keira Walsh teed up Leah Williamson who fired narrowly wide.

And that came minutes after the Lionesses bundled the ball out of danger at the other end after a threatening header from Kadeisha Buchanan.

Lauren Hemp was a menace for England with her pace and crosses from the left

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Lauren Hemp was a menace for England with her pace and crosses from the leftCredit: Getty

The 0-0 score line lasted until the 21st minute before the hosts went ahead with Bright walloping in a superb volley in the penalty box.

And the centre-back thwarted danger at the other end clearing out a Canada cross moments before Demi Stokes’ delivery for Alessia Russo flew out of play.

The second spell saw Canada come out swinging as the game became more stretched with the visitors battling for a leveller.

And they eventually got one as Beckie’s classy curler found its way into the top corner, showing why her side triumphed at the Tokyo Olympics.

Canada, invigorated by their equaliser, went on the hunt for a winner with Nichelle Prince testing Mary Earps in the 79th minute.

But they were forced into some desperate defending a little later with Nikita Parris close to unleashing a shot which was blocked.

And there was a loud shout from the crowd for a late pen after Parris hit the turf in the box, before the game finished with spoils shared.

With England set for a tricky clash with Spain, Wiegman has warned her stars will be need to be more clinical with their chances.

The Lionesses gaffer added: “We did really well, but we will get (more) games like this at the Euros.

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Nikita Parris had a shot blocked late on the in game at the Riverside Stadium

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Nikita Parris had a shot blocked late on the in game at the Riverside StadiumCredit: Getty

“We need these (matches) to learn from. It gives us so much information.

“In the second half we suffered a little more and had to get connected again. How we reacted to that was harder. We should have scored more.

“We were not tight on the ball. That is what we will try to do better on Sunday.”



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