England women are through to the final sixteen in the FIFAWWC2015 after beating Colombia 2-1 last night. With a shake-up in their line-up and formation, the Lionesses started with verve and pace, heaping the pressure on Colombia from the off. Toni Duggan, in particular, was relentless going forward. England’s domination was given substance when Karen Carney – The Wizard- found the net after Steph Houghton’s free kick. Fara Williams held her nerve scoring from the penalty spot just before half time and England looked like they were heading for a comfortable win.
In the second half, England sat back, losing some the spark of the first half thriller. Colombia started to make in-roads into lioness territory but England’s defence proved steady, although goalkeeper Karen Bardsley was tested. However, there were a few tense minutes for England when Colombia’s Lady Andrade scored in injury time, making the final score 2-1.
Credit must be given to Head Coach, Mark Sampson, who has structured the England team differently in each of their tournament matches to best counter the strengths of their opponents. Their defensive approach against the French might not have been pretty but it did seem effective, and they were unlucky to concede. Sampson’s tactics have gone to plan against both Mexico and Colombia, and England finished second in the group below leaders, France. Colombia finished third, while Mexico, at the bottom of the group will be heading home.
England play Norway on Monday.