USA coach had England Women’s World Cup prediction before nightmare exit

World Cup Diary: England gearing up for Spain final clash

The United States Women’s head coach Vlatko Andonovski managed to predict England’s incredible Women’s World Cup journey almost ten months before the competition had started. That is while his USWNT failed to hit the mark and crashed out of the tournament.

Back in October 2022, England’s Lionesses manged to impress against the USWNT in a 2-1 friendly victory at Wembley. The win saw Lauren Hemp and Georgia Stanway hit the back of the net with Sophia Smith managing to score for the USA.

Following the match, England manager Sarina Wiegman downplayed the result ahead of the World Cup. She said: “It’s good to have a test against the USA because they have won so many things over years and years so lots of respect for them, but hopefully we’re catching up.”

Andonovski agreed, but went a step further after full time. “I absolutely believe [that England have a chance of winning the World Cup],” he said. “They have an incredible squad.

They showed once again that they are very good. If you give them a little space they have players that can make a difference. They have an incredible coach, she has done a good job. I wouldn’t mind facing them in the final again.

“This game is important preparation for the World Cup. There is a reason we played it so far out. We wanted to have enough time to fix the things that get exposed. It was a great learning opportunity.

“We came here to experience adversity, we got that. We came here to experience a hostile environment, we got that. It checked all the boxes, not we need to get back to the drawing board.”

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While Andonovski may not have a completely accurate crystal ball, his comments were telling with England having reached the World Cup final. The Lionesses impressed throughout the tournament and will now face Spain with one eye on the prestigious trophy.

The USWNT had the opposite experience which resulted in Andonovski losing his job after leading the team to their lowest ever World Cup finish. The team exited the tournament following a controversial penatly shootout defeat to Sweden in the Round of 16.

England will now look ahead to the World Cup final against Spain which will kick off at 11am on Sunday, August 20th at the Stadium Australia in Sydney.

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