Women’s World Cup – England 2-1 Mexico: Lionesses bounce back from France defeat

first_imgEngland bounced back from Tuesday’s defeat to France as they held on to record a 2-1 victory over Mexico in their World Cup Group F clash at Moncton Stadium.Second-half goals from Fran Kirby and Karen Carney put England 2-0 up before a late strike from Fabiola Ibarra reduced the deficit in Canada.The three points moves England up to second in the group table as they sit a point behind surprise leaders Colombia, while Saturday’s opponents are bottom with just one point so far.Mexico, who drew 1-1 with Colombia earlier this week, started strongest and had numerous half-chances to take the lead.But Kenti Robles’ effort was blocked by England defender Laura Bassett, who made the starting line-up after suffering an elbow to her head during the opening defeat to France.Veronica Perez was next to have a go for Leonardo Cuellar’s side but she sent her long-range volley over the bar before England keeper Karen Bardsley kept out Nayeli Rangel’s dangerous header.After being pegged back in their own half for the majority of the opening exchanges, England pushed forward midway through the first half and Lucy Bronze crossed the ball into the box for Eniola Aluko, but the chance fizzled away as she went down under pressure from two Mexico defenders before she could get a shot in.England kept the pressure on and soon after recorded their first shot on target as Jill Scott played the ball back to Kirby, who forced goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago into a diving save to keep the scores level.Kirby failed to get a cross in before she fired wide of the target and the Reading striker set up Toni Duggan as the match approached the half-hour mark, but the latter was grounded as she attempted an overhead kick on goal before the ball appeared to touch the arm of Robles.Duggan came close again 10 minutes before the break but Santiago did well to hold out her powerful effort. Fara Williams then had a great chance to open the scoring and Jade Moore tested the Mexico stopper – before Aluko fired just over the bar – as the first half drew to a close with England dominating but unable to break the deadlock.Kirby drew a diving save out of Santiago as the second half got under way, while Scott’s chance was comfortably caught by the Mexico number one.Williams came close with a curled effort from the right wing as Mark Sampson’s side pressed for an opener with England still dominating as both sides upped the tempo after half-time.Mexico briefly threatened but England’s dominance finally paid off and they were rewarded after 70 minutes as Kirby finally broke the deadlock with a great effort.The 21-year-old collected Duggan’s cross just outside the box and beat two defenders on her way to firing in the opener as she slotted the ball home – off the post – to hand England the lead.Kirby looked for England’s second with 12 minutes remaining as they pushed forward to double their score before the Reading player struck a powerful shot which was held out by a desperate save from the diving goalkeeper.Minutes later second-half substitute Carney claimed their second as she headed Alex Greenwood’s perfect cross over Santiago from close range to make it 2-0.Mexico tried to get on the scoresheet late on but Bardsley easily held onto Stephany Mayor’s shot.England were given a late scare, though, as Mexico pulled a goal back in the final minute of normal time,Charlyn Corral did well with a shot on target which Bardsley spilled to Ibarra and she made no mistake with a close-range finish, but despite more than four minutes of stoppage time, Mexico were unable to threaten an equaliser as England held on for the spoils. Fran Kirby celebrates scoring for England 1last_img read more