England Women sweep Sweden aside
- 03 August 2014 16:40
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
England Women fired four past Sweden without reply in a dominant display at Hartlepool’s Victoria Park.
The clash provided ideal preparation for the upcoming qualifier with Wales, when England will be aiming to seal a spot at the 2015 World Cup in Canada. The Swedes are currently ranked fifth in the world and the team were expecting a test of their World Cup credentials.
As it happened, the hosts shot out of the blocks and had a chance to take the lead within seconds of kick off, but Reading’s Fran Kirby fired over the top. Jodie Taylor had another opportunity to open the scoring before Bardsley was called into action after 15 minutes, intercepting an attempted cross and tipping the ball onto the crossbar.
Just minutes later she pulled off an incredible reaction stop to push the ball over the bar after the initial shot had taken a wicked deflection off an England defender.
However, England heeded the warning and made the breakthrough from the spot not long after. Karen Carney was felled in the area and she took the kick herself, striking her initial effort against the post but making no mistake with the rebound in the middle of a confused group of bodies.
Debutant Kirby made it two not long after the break, and both goalscorers had the chance to double their individual tallies before the hour when Duggan was introduced.
Strikes from Lianne Sanderson and a second from Carney put the gloss on an excellent display in front of over 4,000 spectators in the North East.
England will be hoping to replicate today’s form and extend their winning run when they travel to Cardiff later this month – a draw against the Welsh will be enough to seal World Cup qualification.
ENGLAND: Bardsley, Scott, Houghton, Bronze (Bassett 71), Stokes (Greenwood 76), Williams (Scott 76), Nobbs, Carney, Kirby (Duggan 61), Taylor (Aluko 61), Sanderson.