The introduction of Nigerian born Eniola Aluko in the 61st minute of the third place match between England women and Germany women at the World Cup helped the English team secure a penalty in extra time, which they scored to claim victory over Germany.
According to the BBC, the introduction of Eniola Aluko, who had not played since England’s second game against Mexico, swung the game back in England’s favour and she laid on a pass to Jill Scott, who wasted a great opportunity with 13 minutes remaining.
The Lionesses were buoyed going into extra-time and their determination to not bow down to a world superpower of women’s football helped create the penalty, which led to joyous scenes at the final whistle as a superb campaign ended on a high.
Fara Williams’s extra-time penalty ensured England beat Germany for the first time in 31 years to finish third at the Women’s World Cup.
The performance was the second best by an England team following the 1966 win by the men’s side and eclipsed the 1990 men’s team, who finished fourth in Italy.
The Lionesses had not beaten two-time World Cup winners Germany in 20 attempts but they more than matched their opponents and won the spot-kick in the second period of extra-time after substitute Lianne Sanderson was brought down by Tabea Kemme.
However, they were thankful for a glaring miss from Bianca Schmidt four minutes from the end as they held on to their slender lead.
The result was tribute to the progress that England have made under Mark Sampson after the Welshman took over 18 months ago. It also put a positive spin on their campaign after the cruel 2-1 semi-final defeat following Laura Bassett’s injury-time own goal against Japan.
The team are set to receive an additional £2,000 for winning the bronze medal, taking their World Cup bonus payments to £14,000.