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England Women cruise to victory after Parris double

GOALS: Nikita Parris

ENGLAND WOMEN continued their remarkable World Cup 2019 qualifying run after thrashing Kazakhstan Women 5-0 in front of a sold-out crowd at the Weston Community Homes stadium in Colchester last night (November 28).

Four goals in 12 minutes sealed the win for the Lionesses, who maintain their 100 per cent win record. Manchester City’s Melissa Lawley gave the Lionesses their lead on her international debut after just 15 minutes.

The performance, supported by the huge crowd who made the trip out on a cold night, demonstrated a strong balance between youth and experience. However, England struggled to land another goal in the first half, despite some clear chances and 83 per cent possession.

In the second half, substitute Fran Kirby doubled the lead with a penalty moments after replacing Jodie Taylor. The Chelsea forward was also involved setting up the third goal scored by Nikita Parris in the 68th minute.

Seven minutes later Parris put away the fourth, while Izzy Christiansen tapped in the fifth goal sealing a significant win for the Lionesses.

Kazakhstan Women, ranked 66th in the world, failed to test England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley, who was appearing in her first game since injury cut short her Euro 2017 campaign.

This is the final game for interim manager Mo Marley in charge of the team after Mark Sampson’s controversial departure earlier this year. A successor is due to be announced in the new year.

This successful night in Essex culminated with England having played three, won three and finishing second in Group 1 behind Wales Ladies. The Lionesses’ next qualifier is against the group leaders in April 2018.

After a tumultuous year following the Sampson affair, England will be thrilled to have taken a step closer qualifying for another major tournament.

Marley said: “Any introduction of new players into the squad really set the tone. Obviously, it’s been inspirational for the younger players coming in for the first time, so you get the energy and enthusiasm.

"The older players want to set the standards and are adamant they still have a point to prove and a place in the team.
The balance right across has been really healthy, and this reflects in some of the training sessions in the last couple of days.”

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