Lauren James: Nigeria star makes feelings crystal clear after England Women's World Cup drama

Lauren james England Nigeria Womens World Cup

Lauren James: England star saw red in Nigeria Women's World Cup win

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 08/08/2023

- 09:04

Updated: 08/08/2023

- 09:23

The Chelsea winger's involvement in the tournament is now up in the air

The Nigeria player who Lauren James stamped on has made it clear there's no hard feelings between the pair.

The England star received a straight red card during Monday's dramatic victory at the Women's World Cup.

James stamped on Michelle Alozie in the 87th minute of the contest, with England then reigning supreme following a dramatic penalty shootout.

Yet the Nigeria star has nothing bad to say about her opponent, despite her side also crashing out.

Lauren James England Nigeria

Lauren James: England star was dejected after Nigeria red card


"It was good for us. James is a really good player," he said.

"And nullifying her was really big for us.

"We didn’t want her to move freely and get those shots off that she usually does. It was good for us to have her taken out of the game.

"I was a little bit surprised by her reaction to the tackle. I don’t think it was really needed.

"I’m fine, my butt is fine from her stepping on it! I was kind of confused initially.

"I didn’t understand what was going on at first. There’s no hard feelings, it’s just a game."

England were lucky not to pay the price for James' moment of madness.

They were able to win on penalties, with Chloe Kelly the hero with the Manchester City star netting the final spot-kick with a thunderous drive.

While England boss Sarina Wiegman could have been forgiven for being furious with James, the 53-year-old defended the youngster instead.

"It's a huge lesson for her to learn," she said.

"She would never want to hurt someone. She is the sweetest person I know. It was late in the game so players get a little tired.

"She is inexperienced on this stage and in a split-second lost her emotions. It isn't something she did on purpose. She apologised and felt really bad."

James has since turned off comments on her Instagram amid fears of a backlash.

And England team-mate Jess Carter also defended the Chelsea star, saying: "Social media is, I think, the devil.

"I think she's got enough experience around her, enough people around her to help her and be there for her through everything."

Meanwhile, speaking after England's win, Kelly was thrilled to have fired her side through to the last eight.

"It's amazing, anything that's thrown at us we show what we're capable of," she said.

"We dig deep as a group and we believe in our ability. We believe in what we're told to do. We've been practicing a lot and it's working.

"[Before the penalty] For me I'm thinking going to score, once I win that mental battle I'm good.

"It's the team, this team is special.


Chloe Kelly England Nigeria

Lauren James: Chloe Kelly was delighted after England beat Nigeria at Women's World Cup


"We did it in the Euros, we did it in the Finalissima, we keep pushing forward and there's more to come from this team."

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