Author Topic: Lions prove a point  (Read 1412 times)

Offline BillyBoy

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Lions prove a point
« on: January 28, 2007, 04:47:02 PM »
England   1-1   USA
Scott 47       O'Reilly 17

Four Nations Tournament
England, China, USA and Germany
8am, Sunday 28 January 2007 (GMT)
Guangdong Olympic Sports Centre, China

England earned a hugely deserved 1-1 draw against the USA today to earn their first Four Nations Tournament point.

Kelly Smith was presented with the Player of the Match award as The Three Lions dominated the side who are ranked number two in the world.

Both sides started the game with four changes from their opening fixtures. Rachel Brown, Rachel Yankey and Eniola Aluko came in for Siobhan Chamberlain, Sue Smith and Jody Handley, whilst Emily Westwood came in to the backline for the first time, replacing the unwell Mary Phillip.

Whilst for England fans the sight of Westwood at centre back is unfamiliar, the 22 year old has been playing for Everton there since October after injury to Fern Whelan.

The game opened up almost from the kick-off with both Marci Miller and Eniola Aluko finding their range within the first five minutes.

On 17 minutes the USA took the lead though with a clinical break. Natasha Kai broke down the right flank, turned Casey Stoney and hung up an inviting cross. The ball was met by Heather O'Reilly who rose highest between Asante and Westwood to give Rachel Brown no chance.

England though recovered well and although Brown had to be alert to cut out a couple of crosses, Hope Powell's side bossed the remainder of the first half.

With Rachel Yankey and Karen Carney looking lively down the flanks and the midfield trio of Smith, Williams and Chapman pressing hard and looking far more comfortable in possession, a series of chances started to come England's way.

Aluko had one turn and shot which was easily saved by Scurry before after a great bit of individual skill by Carney, Kelly Smith came within inches of bringing England level.

The second half couldn't have started any better for Hope Powell's side as on 47 minutes they drew level.

The move started with Yankey down the left and finished with Aluko putting a great ball ascross the box. Flying in at the far post was Alex Scott to drive home her second goal in three internationals.

The USA came within inches of regaining the lead on 67 minutes. Heather O'Reilly was at least 30 yards out when she saw Brown marginally off her line but her shot clipped the bar before rebounding off the Everton 'keepers head and away to safety.

As both sides made a series of substitutions the pace of the game dropped just a little but still it was England who were in the territorial ascendancy as the final whistle blew for a result that will give England's players the belief that come September, they will be a force to be reckoned with.

England: Rachel Brown, Alex Scott, Casey Stoney, Anita Asante, Emily Westwood (Rachel Unitt, 79mins), Katie Chapman (Vicky Exley, 83mins), Fara Williams, Kelly Smith, Karen Carney, Eniola Aluko (Jill Scott, 59mins), Rachel Yankey

USA: Brianna Scurry, Heather Mitts, Lori Chalupny, Cat Whitehill, Kathryn Markgraf (Stefanie Lopez, 60mins), Leslie Osborne, Marci Miller (Carli Lloyd, 46mins), Angela Hucles (Yael Averbuch, 60mins), Natasha Kai (Joanna Lohman, 78mins), Casey Noguiera (Lindsay Tarpley, 46mins), Heather O'Reilly

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