Duggan and Parris score as England top Euro 2017 group but brave Scotland bow out
Football

Duggan and Parris score as England top Euro 2017 group but brave Scotland bow out

27 July 2017 / 20:34

England finished top of Group D and booked a Euro 2017 quarter-final clash with France as they secured their third straight victory against Portugal, but Scotland are going home despite a rallying 1-0 win against Spain.

England were far from their best against a well-drilled Portugal side, but goals from Toni Duggan and Nikita Parris ensured Mark Sampson’s team march on in their pursuit of the trophy.

The Lionesses are one the in-form teams entering the knock-out stages after they backed up their 6-0 win against Scotland and 2-0 win against Spain with another three points.

Sampson made ten changes for the clash, with Laura Bassett handed the captaincy in Steph Houghton’s absence, while there were also starts for veterans Karen Carney and Fara Williams.
Parris scored the second for England
And they made a dram start when striker Duggan took full advantage from a loose clearance from Portuguese keeper Patricia Morais and neatly chipped the ball in from 25 yards.

But Portugal, the lowest-ranked side in the Netherlands, provided a bigger challenge than many expected and just ten minutes after Duggan’s strike Diana Silva crossed for Carolina Mendes to tap-in from close range.

England struggled to regain the ascendancy in a tepid first half, but they played with a far higher intensity in the second period and regained the lead immediately.

 

Isobel Christiansen flicked a bouncing ball through for speedy striker Parris, and she beat two defenders before burying a low shot into the corner.

Further chances came for Parris and centre-back Millie Bright, but England safely saw the game out to enter the knock-out stages high in confidence.

England boss Sampson said: "We're really pleased with that result. A lot of teams found it difficult to escape their group, but building momentum is what we wanted. 

"We have three wins under our belt, France have one win under their belt. We feel confident for these high-pressure games.

"We've got a two-day turnaround, but we'll be ready for France. Played three, scored 10. I can't really ask for more than that."

 

England goalscorer Parris added: "I'm so happy we came out in the second half and got the goal. We've got so much momentum.

"It was a great team effort. We can't wait to go into the France game now. I think France will be more scared of us than we are of them."

Meanwhile, Scotland battled their way to a tremendous 1-0 win over much-fancied Spain, but sadly it was not enough to send them through

Anna Signeul’s side showed admirable discipline to keep the creativity of Spain at bay in the first 30 minutes, but were lucky to survive a barrage of pressure ten minutes before half-time.

Rachel Corsey cleared off the line after Gemma Fay had spilled a looping ball, before Fay redeemed herself with a superb save to keep out Jennifer Hermoso.

She saved again from Alexia Putellas’s header, but was only booked after handling outside the area under pressure from Hermoso.

Fay and Scotland survived, and went ahead against the run of play on 41 minutes.

Leanne Crichton’s looping ball forward was chased by Erin Cuthbert, who was beaten to it by Spain keeper Sandra Panos, but the ball only rebounded to Weir, who kept her head and fired low into the net.

Crichton blazed over from eight yards early in the second half as Scotland looked for a second, while at the other end, Silvia Meseguer’s 25-yard thunderbolt rattled the bar with Fay well beaten.

Spain probed for an equaliser, and Fay denied Putellas once more with another fine save. Paz’s rebound was destined for the net, but Ifeoma Dieke was in the right place at the right time to head clear.

Despite late pressure, Scotland could not find the second goal they needed and bowed out with their heads held high.

And Signeul – who leaves her role as Scotland head coach after 12 years in charge and will be replaced by Shelley Kerr – was proud of what they achieved.

She said: "It was fantastic how we fought. They are such small margins. We could have put it away also, we had some great chances. 

"It has been so long that we wanted to get to this tournament that today we had everything to win and nothing to lose. I am so proud of them, because today we showed what we are about.

"These players are fantastic. The fans and coaches, the board, everyone here has been so supportive. We are taking it from a low level and we've built something so strong.

"It has united Scotland for girls and women's football. I'm very proud of what we've done. But it is a good time now [to leave as manager]. Now they will qualify for the World Cup, I am sure about that." 

Sportsbeat 2017

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