White and Co close in on last eight - The Solihull Observer

White and Co close in on last eight

Solihull Editorial 25th Jul, 2017   0

ELLEN WHITE says England Women are ready for the Portugal test as the Lionesses look to book their place in the quarter-finals of the European Championships, writes Andrew Haines.

The Birmingham City Ladies star has been an integral part of England’s success in the Netherlands as they top Group D after two games, knowing they only need to take a point off their final group stage opponents on Thursday in Tilburg to guarantee reaching the knockout stages.

After a 6-0 demolition of Scotland, the Lionesses boosted their chance of reaching the last eight with a 2-0 victory over Spain on Sunday, thanks to goals from Francesca Kirby and Jodie Taylor.

Speaking after the match, White said: “We knew it would be a difficult game for us. It was completely the opposite of what we faced against Scotland but I thought it was really gritty and a tough performance.




“Spain are a fantastic side and we’re really happy with the three points and now we look forward to facing Portugal.”

However, the encounter against Spain did not lack its drama as midway through the game, when England were 1-0 up, referee Carina Vitulano pointed to the spot after White was adjudged to have handballed in the area.


But the decision was overruled by the lineswoman as she said the ball had struck White’s thigh first before hitting her hand.

A drop-kick from the keeper was then called instead.

“No one wants to give a penalty away and I don’t want to give a penalty away,” said White.

“The girl spoke to the referee and based on the new rule she held her hands up and said ‘fair play, my mistake’.

“It hit me on my leg and then hit me on my arm. There was nothing I could do about it, I couldn’t move my arms out of the way.

“So I’m thankful we got those three points,” White concluded.

In what was considered by many to be England’s toughest group match, the team in dark blue showed their dominance and limited Spain to half chances.

Lionesses boss Mark Sampson opted to play striker White down the left hand side as she did against Scotland, and her positioning again paid dividends.

It took White less than two minutes to have her first impact on the game as she sliced the Spanish defence open before her weighted throughball found Chelsea’s Kirby who slotted the ball under Spain stopper Sandra Panos.

It could have been 2-0 just minutes later as another Chelsea player, Millie Bright, headed in a cross from a free kick.

However, the goal was chalked off for offside.

White continued to impress down the left before being amidst the penalty confusion which angered the Spanish bench.

With ten minutes to go White was brought off in place of new Barcelona signing Toni Duggan, with Sampson perhaps having their final group stage match and the knock-out stages beyond in mind.

England made it 2-0 before full time as Jordan Nobbs set Taylor in to fire home.

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