Sophie Downey was at the Amex tonight. Here is his report.
Sarina Wiegman speaks to ITV.
We just weren’t sharp enough. We knew that the Czechs were very strong, very compact. We had a few chances but we were just too short to score a goal. It was a bit boring. They were also dangerous on the counterattack. We didn’t put him in the back of the net. [On Lucy Bronze] She makes sure, she always wants to win, she always trains hard.
[On Lauren James’ debut] She feels comfortable. I think she made a good start.
Disaster for Scotland and Wales, joy for Ireland. These World Cup qualifiers were pure drama.
Lucy Bronze, the Centurion, speaks to ITV.
I don’t think we were clinical enough, we had chances to score. We played well in spells, we’re not used to not being clinical. As European champions, we have to win games like this. Maybe the fact that we played USA on Friday made things a little different. We played good football and created a few chances, but today was not our day. I just wanted to win something with England. Now I have done both. We obviously go into the World Cup in a good position. Regarding the collective under Sarina, we have done well. Ten more months and we want to win another trophy.
Amber Barrett’s goal did, the Irishman will be there in Australia and New Zealand. Congratulations to them, sorry for Scotland and Wales, who lost against Switzerland. Portugal also won, but had to enter an intercontinental qualifier. But this is the Irish in a first-ever major international tournament. Welcome!
Ella Toone was set up by Kirby on the final blow as England advanced. Lucy Bronze must then go back to eliminate a danger. A night of frustration ends with Sweet Caroline, but no celebrations like Wembley Friday or July. The best chance came when Lauren Hemp hit the post. The Wiegman regime’s second goalless draw, but the unbeaten record stands against an opponent who played very well.
90+2 mins: The bronze intervenes, uses his left foot to wrap the ball, but he is cleared by an excellent Czech defense.
90 minutes: There will be four additional minutes. Alex Greenwood has to get out and go when Szewieczkova, who has been a danger all night, is on the end of a cross.
89 mins: Kirby and Mead’s old understanding binds, but the ball is wide of the net. It was very frustrating for the England attackers, who are so used to shaking them.
88 minutes: England push, press to win. But Greenwood’s corner doesn’t beat the defender at the near post.
86 mins: Fran Kirby hits one but it’s well saved by Lukasova, who was excellent.
84 mins: The unbeaten streak looks likely to continue despite not being secure. England have scored in all but one game under Sarina Wiegman, and that record is far less certain.
82 minutes: Mead starts again and Lukasova makes a nice save. England make a save, entering the popular Rachel Daley for Stokes. Great cheers greet Daly’s arrival.
81 mins: Arsenal fan Zach Neeley gets in touch: “As a club fan, my favorite thing about games like this is when it’s over and nobody gets hurt. Lord, bless and protect Beth Mead.
79 mins: Beth Mead concedes a corner and isn’t too amused by the decision. The Czechs are always dangerous. Well, other than that corner sticking out straight. Frankly, it sucked.
World Cup update: Scotland 0-1 Ireland, a fine finish from Amber Barrett on blocking an excellent pass from O’Sullivan. Ireland going to the World Cup?
75 minutes: A long delay there, England can find something in the last 15 minutes. There is a glow for the salmon but again it is erased.
73 mins: Unfortunately, Slajsova is kidnapped. This is one of three changes to come for the Czechs.
70 minutes: Stokes descends to the left, almost to the boundary line, but his cross eludes everyone. There’s a break in the game because Gabriela Slajsova is down, and it looks mean. No one around her as she fell to the ground and she is in distress.
68 mins: With the Czechs on the attack, the Lionesses turn towards the counter, with Salmon in the foreground, showing his speed. Lucy Bronze cuts to the right but there is serious heavy traffic on the way.
65 minutes: The Czechs are always dangerous and Ella Toone needs to come back to eliminate this danger when a counter strike takes place. Neither team looks so sharp in attack.
63 mins: Lauren James leaves, although dad Nigel appears to be watching the Chelsea game on his phone. Next is Ebony Salmon, or the Houston Dash, for only his second selection.
60 minutes: The nearest England has come yet. Lauren Hemp’s move created it and it looked, briefly, like the ball might dive from her dink. He comes off the post and out. Stokes pursues but the Czechs clear the ball, roughly.
59 mins: World Cup update: Scotland 0-0 Ireland. Still, but the algorithm suggests Ireland wins and goes down. While Scotland must win by three goals to avoid the playoffs.
56 mins: Beth Mead seemed to have escaped, but Lukasova came through well to make a nice block before the Czechs cleared their lines.
53 mins: A Czech attack, and Necidova shoots from range. But misses the target.
52 mins: Lauren Hemp heads wide, a better chance this time, set up by Lucy Bronze on the straddle. Next, Kirby has the ball whipped out of his toes. All of England now, a test of Czech concentration and energy.
50 mins: World Cup update: comeback underway in Hampden, where it’s still Scotland 0-0 in Ireland.
49 mins: England start off with a real head of steam. Lauren Hemp chases the second ball and tries to deflect the ball towards the goal. It extends on both sides.
47 mins: Fran Kirby ghosts into space in typical style and is played there but can’t bend her shot on goal. England must turn to these oblique lines to break through this Czech defence.
46 mins: Back in Brighton, England, set off again. Chloe Kelly is gone, and we come to Beth Mead to do Beth Mead things.
World Cup update: Scotland 0-0 Ireland at half-time, despite a fine last-minute scramble in the Scottish goal. The whole thing caused by a long throw from Megan Campbell caused total chaos. BBC commentator Alba used the word “stramash” to describe it.
A frustrating outing in which the best English play came from Lauren James but it was the Czech defense that dominated. It’s an interesting task ahead for Sarina Wiegman’s side in the second half.
44 mins: Chloe Kelly and Lauren James try to link up, but again the Czechs are back in big numbers and find safety in those numbers. Their keeper is also equal to Greenwood’s corner.
42 mins: Russ Bullock gets in touch: “Hi John, I’ve just been watching Lionesses v Czech Republic with my daughter and need to settle a dispute regarding tonight’s game and in particular the color of Mary Earp’s tape. “I’ve always understood that goalkeepers should differentiate themselves from other players AND officials, but his choice of black in tonight’s game surely violates that protocol. Any help in settling the feud would be gratefully received.”
I don’t know the rules but Lev Yashin got away with it.
41 minutes: Lauren James continues one of her pushes and the ball skids towards Fran Kirby, but again the Czechs defend deep, outnumbered and very well.