Euro 2017 - England 2-0 Spain: Kirby and Taylor goals give Lionesses second win

Fran Kirby and Jodie Taylor both scored as England overcame a dominant Spain side in their second group game.

Euro 2017 - England 2-0 Spain: Kirby and Taylor goals give Lionesses second win
Fran Kirby gave England a quick start in Breda | Photo: Christopher Lee/Getty Images.
England
2 0
Spain
England: Bardsley, Bronze, Houghton, Bright, Stokes, Scott, Moore, Nobbs, Kirby (Christiansen, min. 69), White (Duggan, min. 79), Taylor (Potter, min. 89).
Spain: Panos, Torrejon, Paredes, Pereira, Corredera, Putellas, Losada (Garcia, min. 73), Meseguer, Ouahabi (Latorre, min. 89), Sampedro (Torrecilla, min. 89), Hermoso.
SCORE: 1-0, min. 2, Kirby. 2-0, min. 85, Taylor.
REFEREE: Yellow Cards: Paredes (min. 31), Pereira (min. 69).
INCIDENTS: Euro 2017 Group D match between England and Spain in Breda.

Goals from Fran Kirby and Jodie Taylor put England in pole position to qualify for the knock-out stages of Euro 2017 as they beat a dominant Spain side 2-0.

The win meant England have now won their opening two group games at a major tournament for the very first time. 

The Spanish had the lion's share of the ball for the entire game, but they failed to create many major opportunities as England were clinical in front of goal to leave themselves top of group D.

Sampson unchanged for first time

Lionesses' boss Mark Sampson was known for ringing the changes at the 2015 World Cup in Canada. However for the first time his England side was unchanged following their opening win over Scotland.

That meant that Taylor played after her stunning hat-trick, whilst other goal scorers from the thrashing against Scotland, Ellen White and Jordan Nobbs kept their places. Toni Duggan however had to settle for a place on the bench against a team full of her new Barcelona team mates, despite her late goal in the first game.

As for Spain, they made just one change from their win over Portugal in their first match of the tournament. Former Arsenal player Marta Corredera came in, as she replaced Mariona Caldentey in the side. That change meant the Spanish switched system, opting to go with three at the back.

Lightning fast start from England

England continued right from where they left off in their opening game, with an electrifying start to the match. Just two minutes in they took the lead through Kirby who was allowed to coolly slot the ball home after a lovely pass in behind from White.  

It was a dream start for the Lionesses but it could have been more only four minutes later.

Nobbs' floated free-kick was met by the head of Millie Bright, whose header looped over Sandra Panos. However it was ruled out for offside, and on the replay, appeared to be an incorrect decision.

England could easily have been 2-0 up after six minutes but it was a half dominated by Spain.

The Spanish had 76% of the possession in the first half, but the only stat that mattered was the score line. England struggled to keep the ball whenever they won it back, but they were rarely tested by the Spain attack despite being under pressure for much of the opening 45 minutes.

Vicky Losada had their best chance of the half within the first minute. She capitalised on Steph Houghton's slip to seize on the loose ball, but fired wide from inside the penalty area.

Aside from that, Spain never really came close in the first half. Alexia Putellas had a chance after 13 minutes, but her effort was straight at Karen Bardsley, whilst the only other opportunity that got near to the Manchester  City goalkeeper came from Jennifer Hermoso, but her shot was deflected safely into Bardsley's path. 

Spain have penalty decision overturned

The second half brought much of the same for Spain; plenty of possession but not enough in front of goal. However they were denied a golden opportunity to equalise with around 15 minutes remaining. The ball into the box skidded off the wet turf, before bouncing off White's leg and onto her arm.

Originally the referee pointed to the penalty spot, before she overturned her decision controversially.

It would have been an unfortunate way for England to concede after their resilience in defence, but in bizarre circumstances  Spain were denied the opportunity to potentially get back into the game. 

Taylor puts the game to bed

With five minutes remaining England managed to seal the win as Taylor grabbed her fourth goal of the tournament.

The Spanish had dominated the entire game, but Sampson's side were clinical whenever they got into the penalty area. Demi Stokes' ball into Nobbs was turned brilliantly round the corner for Taylor, who was left to find the back of the net, and she duly obliged. 


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