SheBelieves Cup 2018: England 4-1 France - Lionesses breeze to victory

The Lionesses kick off the tournament with a convincing win

England
4 1
France
England: Bardsley (Telford 83) , Bronze, Stokes (Greenwood 87) , Asante (McManus 14), Bright, Parris (Lawley 61), Scott, Taylor, Kirby (Christiansen 71) , Duggan (White 71) , Walsh
France: Benameur, Karchaoui, Mbock, Georges, Perisset, Diallo, Robert (Thiney 61), Henry, Le Sommer, Diani (Asseyi 61) , Sarr (Gauvain 74)
SCORE: 1-0 Duggan 6 mins, 2-0 Scott 28 mins, 3-0 Taylor 39 mins, 4-0 Kirby 46 mins, 4-1 Thiney 77
INCIDENTS: Yellow card for Millie Bright

With a new manager and a clean slate, England looked to kick off Phil Neville's reign on the right note. The talk before the match was of the high standards wanted by Neville and that the Lionesses were here to win the cup.

They've put them in great contention with an assured win over a timid France.

The conditions weren't ideal for either team in a very windy and wet Columbus, Ohio. However, England could have almost taken the lead in the first minute when Fran Kirby's effort went across the face of goal. There was some good opening exchanges and passes with players getting a feel for the conditions. The Lionesses clearly adjusted better with Toni Duggan putting them ahead after a pass from Kirby who saw her in space. Duggan finished well from just inside the box.

England looked to be dominating the match but there was some concern later on when Anita Asante looked to have got her foot stuck in the turf. She went down holding her knee and hopefully her being subbed off was only a precaution. That player was subbed on was Abbie McManus who made her debut. Later on, Jodie Taylor almost got in on the goalscoring action when she attempted to chip Karima Benameur.

She hit the crossbar but the goalie almost put it in herself.

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Second-half dominance pays off

England made their dominance pay as they got a well deserved second goal. Lucy Bronze looked to pass it to Nikita Parris but she left it to Jill Scott and she put it away. France once again looked nervous and not sure of what to do. This is not the France team that England were expecting to face after previous encounters. France's best players this match were Eugenie Le Sommer and Sarkina Karchaoui.

Inexperience also showed with some of them and that lead to the third goal. Benameur came out in a 1 on 1 with Taylor, after Parris sent a long ball to her,  and she slotted it past. The first half ended with the Lionesses 3-0 up and the match pretty much over.

The second half in comparison was a quiet affair. Fran Kirby got her much deserved goal a minute into it after running onto a pass from Jill Scott. France, later on, got a consolation goal which summed up their night.

Gaetene Thiney went for a shot and it took a deflection of Millie Bright which threw Karen Bardsley off. Bardsley was later subbed off for Carly Telford to give Carly some game time and this game saw a debutant for the Lionesses and the Lionesses made many subs during this game to presumably do the same.

England were great on a night where France looked a shadow of themselves.

For France, they will have to improve massively if they are to get anything from the next match against the world no.1, the USA. If not, they could embarrass themselves yet again.

As for the Lionesses, they will take confidence from the result but need to be wary as the next two matches aren't going to be as easy as this. If they want to win the tournament, they will have to dominate games yet again with Germany up next.