Lucy Bronze's stunning strike against much-fancied Norway proved to be the winner as England roared to a 2-1 victory against a much stronger Norway side and a quarter-final tie against hosts, Canada, in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. She fired into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area as England battled back following Solveig Gulbrandsen's flicked header had given the Norwegians a deserved lead.

Earlier Steph Houghton equalised Gulbrandsen's goal with her own header from a corner putting them back into a game which they seamed to have lost, with the Scandinavian side, and previous World Cup winners, stepping up the past, after they took what was a deserved lead.

For long periods, England were under the cosh as they struggled to keep the ball and failed to cope with the direct approach of the physical Norwegians in sweltering conditions, but the Lionesses finished strongly and rarely looked like surrendering the advantage, with the final whistle sparking joyous celebrations in the camp.

Former England player, Rachel Yankey, now believes that her successes can go all the way and actually win the tournament. She said: ”England still do know how to defend but you have to give them a licence to express themselves, because I really believe they can go and win games."

England now have the opportunity to better the quarter-final defeats suffered in each of their three previous World Cup appearances - where they reached directly after qualifying from the group stage - when they meet Canada in Vancouver on Sunday.