Women's World Cup: England 2 - 1 Scotland
(Catherine Mueller - Getty Images)

Women's World Cup: England 2 - 1 Scotland

England beat Scotland 2-1 as Nikita Parris opened England Women's World Cup campaign with VAR penalty decision.

jake-stokes
Jake Stokes

England showcased their quality early on as they opened their account in France through a Nikita Parris penalty. Ellen White soon doubled England’s lead with a neat near post effort. 

With under ten minutes to go Claire Emslie pulled one back for Scotland.

England led early on with help of VAR

The opening minutes of the game saw the Lionesses and Scotland hold plenty of possession in one another’s half. Phil Neville’s side found pleasure in deliveries into the box through Lucy Bronze and Beth Mead which consequently fizzled out.

Scotland were soon pinned to the realm of their penalty area and looked to play on the counter attack.

England’s pressure soon paid off after Fran Kirby’s cross deflected off Nicola Docherty’s arm which resulted in a VAR penalty decision. After a period of deliberation, the referee pointed to the spot. 

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Parris took responsibility and opened the Lionesses’ World Cup campaign in France. England’s number seven arrowed the ball beyond Lee Alexander into the top left-hand corner.

England denied multiple chances until…

Neville’s side were denied a second goal soon after they took the lead. Kiera Walsh clipped a looping pass over the desperate pressing backline of Scotland which found White. Manchester City’s new signing headed the ball beyond the on running Alexander however was flagged offside.

A combination of a reluctancy to press from Scotland and patient play from England, it was Kirby who was able to find a pocket of space. The Chelsea midfielder drove at the retreating defence and played in Mead. The 24-year-old’s first-time shot was denied once again by Alexander.

The Lionesses’ dominance paid off as White doubled their lead. Kirby found the unmarked Manchester City striker who slotted the ball inside of the near post.

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Substitutes looked to make the difference

England conceded minimal goal scoring opportunities early on and looked to see out the win. Millie Bright was replaced by Abbie McManus due to injury. 

Scotland later made a change in hopes of finding a way into the game. Docherty made way for Kirsty Smith. Later, Karen Carney and Chloe Arthur came on for Mead and Sophie Howard respectively.

England's final change saw Kirby make way for Georgia Stanway meanwhile Scotland made a final change too. Lizzie Arnot came on for Christie Murray.

Three points for the Lionesses sends them to the top of Group D with Argentina yet to play Japan. A strong start to the campaign for Neville’s side.

Scotland pulled one back

With under ten minutes to go Scotland pulled one back through Emslie who ran beyond her marker and beat the on-rushing Carly Telford.

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What we learnt...

England found pleasure in wide areas

As the Lionesses got a foot hold in the game the wide areas became a regular catalyst to efforts on goal. The first goal was a result of a VAR decision which consequently led from a cross into the box.

Neville’s side were vulnerable to counter-attacks

A high press from England partnered with a deep sitting Scotland meant the likes of Erin Cuthbert were able to find in behind. However, the defensive capabilities of Houghton reguarly nullified the attacks. 

Fans in full voice

The travelling fans were in full war cry as they sang and shouted their team on until the final whistle. An attendance of 13,188 filled the Allianz Riviera.

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