England got their first ever victory over Germany on home soil as late goals from Millie Bright and Fran Kirby saw them crowned Arnold Clark Cup champions.
Ellen White had put the Lionesses ahead in the 15th minute before Lina Magull levelled with a stunning free-kick just before half-time.
But Bright, who has become an unlikely source of goals for England in recent games, made it 2-1 in the 84th minute before Kirby rounded things off with a third in stoppage time.
England Women were crowned Arnold Clark Cup champions with a 3-1 win over Germany
Ellen White (centre) opened the scoring 15 minutes in with a strike off her outside of her boot
Defender Millie Bright restored the Lionesses’ lead with a late second-half strike
Fran Kirby (left) fired past Marle Frohms to seal the victory with the third in stoppage time
There was more than a hint of offside about Bright’s close-range finish after Lauren Hemp’s effort had been saved by Merle Frohms. There will be VAR at the Euros this summer but it was not in use at Molineux, to England’s benefit.
England (4-2-3-1): Roebuck, Bronze (Toone 82), Bright, Greenwood, Carter (Daly 34), Williamson, Walsh, Stanway (Parris 61), Kirby, Hemp, White (Russo 82)
Subs not used: Earps, Stokes, Hampton, Mead, Nobbs, Charles, Scott, Zelem
Goals: White 15, Bright 84, Kirby 90+4
Manager: Sarina Wiegman
Germany: Frohms, Kleinherne, Rall, Schuller, Feldkamp, Dabritz, Gwinn, Anyomi (Brand 45), Buhl (Cerci 88), Magull (Dallmann 72), Dongus (Hagel 72)
Subs not used: Berger, Tufekovic, Doorsoun, Rauch, Petzelberger, Cerci, Freigang, Kayikci, Maier
Goals: Magull 41
Manager: Martina Voss-Tecklenburg
Referee: Lina Lehtovaara
This has been a successful week for the Lionesses and Sarina Wiegman. Their form against teams ranked in the world’s top 10 had been poor prior to this tournament, with their last victory against tough opposition coming against Japan at the SheBelievesCup in 2020.
But with draws against Canada and Spain and a win over Germany, there will be belief in the camp that they can do something special at this summer’s Euros.
Wiegman had seen her side win six games from six with 53 goals scored and none conceded since taking charge in September. Only Austria, who limited the Lionesses to just one goal in November, had provided a real test.
This last week though, with games against Canada and Spain before tonight’s match with Germany, has given Wiegman an insight into how much work is needed before the tournament kicks off on July 6.
It should be noted that Germany were without 12 key players tonight while the majority of Canada’s squad are still in pre-season due to the scheduling of the American league.
But England’s victory in this friendly tournament should not be underestimated and the players’ reaction at full-time indicated just how much they valued winning it.
‘It’s really nice to win a tournament and you want to win and win every game,’ Wiegman said. ‘We wanted to develop our style of play and get to know ourselves more. We all did that and I think it’s really nice to finish with a 3-1 win.
‘I always want more but we have been able to try out things and develop our style of play against three different styles.
‘What we have shown and how we have developed this week is really good. We can continue from there. The other teams develop too but it’s really good to see today how we won.
‘I thought we played better against Spain. But still when you have a hard time of not getting into the game, we scored three goals.
‘We showed resilience. Even though we had a hard time keeping the ball in possession you see the team work and effort to really get that goal to win. That’s very satisfying.’
Boss Sarina Wiegman claimed she ‘always wants more’ but admitted the win was satisfying
There is still work to do before this summer. England need to be more clinical in front of goal, which Wiegman herself has admitted.
But they were impressive defensively against all three of their opponents, with the two goals they conceded both stunning long-range efforts.
And with the ever-impressive and electric Hemp on the left-wing, anything is possible.
The Lionesses started strongly here but it was Germany who had the first chances of the game. Miximiliane Rall tested Ellie Roebuck with a header from a corner before the Lionesses’ goalkeeper got down to save a close-range effort from Lina Magull.
But England responded quickly with two chances of their own. Georgia Stanway’s cross was inches away from picking out White in the box before the striker then got in the way of Kirby’s effort on goal.
But the hosts didn’t need to wait much longer for the opener as White equalled Bobby Charlton’s record with her 49th international goal.
Georgia Stanway (centre) almost picked out White in the box with a cross early on
The striker’s opener was her 49th goal for the Lionesses in her international career
Stanway and Kirby exchanged passes on the edge of the box before the latter threaded the ball through to White, who was able to stretch and poke a finish past Frohms in the Germany goal.
Stanway almost scored a spectacular second when she chested down Lucy Bronze’s cross before firing a half-volley at goal, but Frohms was right behind it and did well to hold on.
It was in fact a piece of brilliance at the other end which brought the second goal. It came from England giving the ball away as Klara Buhl robbed Bronze just past half-way line before driving down the left-wing and nut-megging Millie Bright and Alex Greenwood, who clattered into the forward on the edge of the box.
Magull stepped up to curl a magnificent free-kick in off the bar four minutes before half-time
Lina Magull (centre) equalised for Germany just before the break from a free kick
Chances in the second half were few and far between but Williamson close with an effort that flew just over the bar.
At the other end, Jule Brand headed Sara Dabritz’s cross wide in what was the German’s best chance of the half.
But six minutes from time, Bright put England back in front. Hemp found herself one on one with Frohms, who made an excellent save, but the ball dropped to Bright and the defender kept her cool to finish.
With seconds remaining, Kirby sealed the victory, latching onto Bright’s headed clearance to run through and finish past Frohms.