England 5-0 Kazakhstan: Three Lions superb in Euro 2019 qualifier

A 5-0 scoreline was the final result after England put Kazakhstan through the ringer and stayed on pace with Wales in their group.

England 5-0 Kazakhstan: Three Lions superb in Euro 2019 qualifier
England celebrate one of their five goals (photographer: Kunjan Malde)
5 0
England: Bardsley; Bronze (Carter, min. 77), Houghton, Bonner, Greenwood; Scott, Williams (Christiansen, min. 63), Walsh; Parris, Taylor (Kirby, min. 63), Lawley.
Kazakhstan: Zheleznyak (Sandalova, min. 46); Khojasheva, Nurusheva, Krasyukova, Babshuk; Bortnikova, Zhumabaikyzy, Vyldanova, Kirgizbaeva, Gaistenova (Vlassova, min. 69); Karibayeva (Turlybekova, min. 81).
SCORE: 1-0, min. 15, Lawley. 2-0, min. 64, Kirby (pk). 3-0, min. 68, Parris. 4-0, min. 75, Parris. 5-0, min. 76, Christiansen.
REFEREE: Lois Otte (BEL). Yellow Card: Gaistenova (min. 45), Babshuk (min. 64).

England hammered Kazakhstan 5-0 in their Group 1 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifier.

After a slow first half, the home side picked up the pace and found the goals to see out a dominant win over the visitors and keep themselves close to group leaders Wales.

 Fran Kirby's introduction certainly injected some life into the England attack but full credit must go to England's left back on the night, Alex Greenwood, whose crossing caused Kazakhstan problems all throughout the match.

Inaccuracy in the final third prevents England from scoring more in the first half

A first half of dominance by England should have seen the results on the score board but their inconsistencies when it came to final pass in and around the area meant limited chances for the home side. England had to play their way through a defensive-minded Kazakhstan.

There was an early call for a penalty after Nikita Parris went down in the box after colliding with Aida Gaistenova in the 13th minute but the referee, Lois Otte, disagreed and waved play on. If the penalty had been awarded it would have been harsh on Gaistenova as it did seem that the two players just ran into each other as they tried to reach the ball.

England didn't have to wait long after that to find the opener. Two minutes on, Keira Walsh put in a great cross towards Jill Scott as the two club mates looked to combine. Scott dummied across the ball, allowing it to run through to Melissa Lawley who took one touch before finishing well past the goalkeeper.

England continued to push forward as first Jodie Taylor put the ball into the back of the net in the 22nd minute but had her goal disallowed due to an offside flag, and Alex Greenwood had her shot tipped over by goalkeeper Oksana Zheleznyak in the 35th minute. Zheleznyak would be called upon again in the 39th minute after she spilled a long range effort into Taylor's path but fortunately for her, Taylor's shot was well wide and the offside flag had gone up as well.

Secdond half changes propel England to a big win

Zheleznyak did not re-enter the game in the second half due to the injury she picked up trying to prevent Taylor scoring from her error and her replacement, Irina Sandalova was the one who ended up feeling the brunt of a rejuvenated England in the second half. Until the substitutions were made by England, it was more of the same for their attack. Taylor and Gemma Bonner got into each other's way in the 57th minute as they both tried to get on the end of a Greenwood cross but in the end, Bonner put the ball over the crossbar from right underneath it after being unsighted by Taylor.

A minute later, Fara Williams picked out Parris' run into the box but Sandalova came out quickly to smother her attempt and keep the scoreline at 1-0.

In the 63rd minute, temporary manager Mo Marley brought in Fran Kirby and Isobel Christansen and they became the catalyst for the home side. Yekaterina Babshuk was adjudged, harshly, to have deliberately handballed in the penalty area by the referee and Kirby gave England a 2-0 lead with her first touch of the game by converting the penalty.

Kirby was at the center of things once again in the 68th minute as she picked out Parris making a similar run to the one that she made in the 58th minute.

This time Sandalova decided to stay on her line and Parris made her pay by powering home England's third of the night. England were finally in their groove and Parris got her brace in the 75th minute when a deflected flick by Scott found itself at her feet and she finished cleanly past the dive of Sandalova. It was five one minute later as straight from kick-off, Greenwood found enough space to cross the ball to Kirby at the far post. The Chelsea forward then nodded the ball back to the on-rushing Christiansen who had a tap in.

The last chance of the game came in the 85th minute when a lofted ball caused panic inside the Kazakhstan area and a few England players had a go at goal but none of them could find the back of the net before Sandalova was able to recover and gather the ball.