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Penalty-taking is not an issue, insists Bronze


By Mark Critchley

Lucy Bronze believes it is "ridiculous" to point the finger at England's penalty-taking after their Women's World Cup ended in the semi-final stages, despite Steph Houghton's crucial late miss.

England lost a third successive semi-final at a major tournament, after captain Houghton had an opportunity to level from the spot late on.

It was the third penalty England have missed at this World Cup after Nikita Parris failed against both Argentina and Norway. Despite both penalties being well-struck, head coach Phil Neville took Parris off spot-kick duties this week, but Houghton fared no better.

Even so, Bronze refused to blame her captain for the agonising defeat, nor did she think that England's penalty-taking was an obvious area for improvement.

"I completely disagree to be honest," she said.

"I think Nikita Parris has done some superb penalties and keepers have made some fantastic saves. I think we're too harsh on the penalty takers sometimes.

"It's a lot of pressure on a goalkeeper to pull out a save in the semi-final of a World Cup, to keep their team on top. The Argentina keeper? Unbelievable save.

"It's a ridiculous comment to say the penalties aren't good enough, we've scored penalties this tournament and we've scored them in the past, it's not an issue."

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