England scaled to victory in the opening match of Group D in 2019 FIFA Women’s world cup. The Lionesses were in front early after Nikita Parris scored from the penalty spot following a review by VAR.
England could not capitalize on the early advantage to put the game away from the reach of their opponent, although Birmingham City player, White Ellen, White added the second goal before the end of first half. Just at the start of the second half, England had another chance to add to their goals but it was ruled out for offside. The review showed that it was the right call to have cancelled the goal. What’s more, when Claire Emslie exploited an oversight by captain Steph Houghton, Neville’s side were compelled to guarantee an unnecessarily brazen end. It will definitely require a better performance for the Lionesses when the face Argentina in four days. A victory on Friday will guarantee their spot in the round of 16.
For Scotland, it was the their first appearance in a World Cup. Scotland managed score a goal on the 79 minutes when Lisa Evans won back possession after an unexpected defensive mistake by England and strung through for Claire Emslie to slot home from close range.
— FIFA Women’s World Cup (@FIFAWWC) June 9, 2019
It was a different show this time as England could not repeat the 6-0 defeat of their neighbour two years ago during the European Championship. Scotland’s most obvious opportunity with regards to the half came a few minutes later. A great strike from Erin Cuthbert, which appeared to be destined for a goal, after some careless defending from England, just whistled past the post in awe of the the spectators.
The debutants still had possibilities in the most final minutes of the game to add more goals, however, England stood firm to hold off the final pressure to guarantee the opening victory of the competition. They are positioned 17 places below England. Their next game is against Japan as they hope for their first victory of the tournament.
Today’s victory was the second time in history England won their opening match of a Women’s World Cup competition, the first of that was in 1995.
It was a draw in both 2007 and 2011 but lost on the first day in 2015.
Speaking a after the match, Phil Neville said, “I suppose the disappointment leaving the game, and it’s the standards that we’ve set, is that in the second half, we needed to keep the ball better, particularly when the legs get heavy and we’re getting fatigued.”
He added that it would be necessary to keep the standard of the first half and to me more ruthless in front of goal. “It’s good to get the first game out o the way”, he remarked.