England's Women's Soccer Team Starts World Cup Journey with Narrow 1-0 Victory
England's women's soccer team had a successful start to their Women's World Cup journey, securing a narrow 1-0 victory at Lang Park. Despite being ranked fourth, the Lionesses were criticized for their performance, as they struggled to find the finishing finesse and displayed a rusty game.
Former England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley expressed her disappointment with England's play, pointing out their sloppy possession, slow passing, and defensive lapses. Nevertheless, there were some positive aspects for the European champions, with 11 shots on target, the most in a World Cup match since 2011, and Alessia Russo impressively taking five shots on goal, a record for an England player since 2011.
Although England managed to maintain their scoring streak, having scored in each of their last 14 World Cup games, their sole goal in this match came from a penalty kick taken by Georgia Stanway.
The tense victory mirrored their previous narrow win in the Euro tournament a year earlier against Austria, which they eventually won.
Looking ahead, the Lionesses acknowledged the need for improvement during their five-day training period before facing Denmark on July 28. Keeper Mary Earps, whose crucial save secured the win, emphasized that they hold themselves to higher standards.
Denmark, on the other hand, marked their return to the World Cup after 16 years with a hard-fought 1-0 win over China, thanks to a late goal by Amalie Vangsgaard. They now share the top spot in Group D with England, each with three points.
Haiti, despite their 53rd ranking, gave England a tough challenge with their speed and unpredictability. Coach Sarina Wiegman praised their performance and believes Denmark and China will have difficulties dealing with Haiti in the group. Haiti, facing challenges due to security concerns, celebrated their World Cup debut as a victory in itself, having qualified as one of the last three teams.
Coach Nicolas Delepine expressed pride in Haiti's efforts and acknowledged the tough match against the European champions. He believes there is room for improvement and looks forward to their upcoming game against China on July 28th.