Leah Williamson: The new England captain and the five-day penalty await |  Football news

Leah Williamson: The new England captain and the five-day penalty await | Football news

Leah Williamson will walk out of a sold-out Windsor Park on Tuesday night as England’s new captain and it looks like Belfast is a city that will give her happy, if unnerving, memories.

Seven years ago this week, Williamson was playing for the U19 team in a tournament at Seaview stadium when one of the most unusual incidents in world football took place.

Trailing 2-1 in a game against Norway, Williamson only scored a stoppage time penalty for the German referee to rule out player infringement.

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Instead of overseeing a recapture, Norway was awarded a free kick and England lost the match. In an unprecedented move, UEFA ruled that the final seconds of the match had to be replayed five days later.

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England captain Leah Williamson is back in Belfast seven years after one of the most bizarre moments of her career, when she had to wait five days to retake a decisive penalty.

A teenage Williamson had plenty of time to think after UEFA made the decision, pacing nervously around the team hotel all week. She tried to block those feelings by going to sleep while her mother rearranged the flights to stay and watch the big moment.

“It worked out in the end, but I wouldn’t wish what I went through that week on anyone,” Williamson said air sports before the game against Northern Ireland.

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England captain Leah Williamson says she wouldn’t want the pressure of waiting five days to reinstate a penalty as she returns to the ground where the bizarre 2015 incident took place.

“I told my mom to keep it quiet in case I missed it, and no one would ever know, but you guys showed up with your Sky Sports cameras!

“There are some girls in the squad here who were involved, and we were reminiscing recently. It worked out well, but it could have been different.”

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Leah Williamson says it is the greatest honor in football to become England captain.

‘A proud moment’

Leah Williamson after being named England captain:

“This is an incredibly proud moment for me and my family and I am honored to be asked to lead us at the European Championship.

“Steph Houghton is one of this country’s all-time greats and to follow in her footsteps – and all those special names that have led the team in the past – means so much.

“While I will be wearing the armband, I know we have a squad full of leaders who share my pride and passion in playing for our country. Captain or not, I will never take anything for granted and will always do my best do for England every time I pull the shirt.”

On the night of the restart, the flags of England and Norway were again hoisted at the location, paramedics and stewards were present and the players warmed up.

Several intrigued spectators were also present, and Sky Sports News broadcast the proceedings live (sorry Leah!).

When the players who were on the field at the end of the first game left the locker rooms, they went straight to the penalty area.

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Alex Greenwood has supported Leah Williamson to become an England captain after she was named as Steph Houghton’s successor ahead of this summer’s European Championship.

Williamson put the ball down with confidence and calmly shot home to seal England qualifiers. Norway kicked off, but after 25 seconds the final whistle created scenes of relief and joy.

Williamson compared the experience to taking her driving test. As with any test she goes through, this impressive choice of captain continues to pass with flying colors.

Follow Northern Ireland Women vs England Women in our dedicated live blog on Sky Sports digital platforms.

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