by Andrew Crawshaw
Many of our Women’s team have been globe trotting, playing for their home countries in a variety of World Championship Qualifiers or ‘friendly’ matches.
Here is a quick round-up of how they all got on
Thursday 21 October
World Championship Group A – Ireland 0 – Sweden 1
Katie McCabe played the full 90 minutes at left wing back for Ireland as Sweden narrowly won. The only goal was an own goal by ex-gunner Louise Quinn.
Friday 22 October
Friendly Game – USA 0 – Korean Republic 0
Tobin Heath played the first Half in this goalless friendly
World Championship Group B – Scotland 2 – Hungary 1
Defender, Jen Beattie played the full 90 minutes and Lisa Evans (on loan with West Ham) came on as a substitute in the 64th minute. Neither player scored or made an assist.
World Championship Group Group C – Cyprus 0 – Netherlands 8
This match was one of the big mis-matches, the only surprise in the scoreline was that The Netherlands only scored 8. Our striker Vivianne Miedema played the whole 90 minutes and wasted no time scoring the opener in the 3rd minute from an assist by ex-gunner Danielle van de Donk.
Viv provided the assist for the fourth goal early in the second half, the finish coming from another ex-gunner Jill Roord, one of her three in the game. In the Netherlands goal another ex-gunner Sari van Veenendaaal was hardly needed. Dominique Janssen (another ex-gunner) started at left back and played 67 minutes.
World Championship Group D – Austria 5 – Luxembourg 0
Goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger played the whole match and was largely untroubled as Austria had a comfortable win over minnows Luxembourg.
World Championship Group G – Switzerland 2 – Romania 0
Midfielder Lia Walti started for Switzerland and played 74 minutes. She received treatment for an injury in the 11th minute but was clearly able to continue.
Saturday 23rd October
Friendly Game – Australia 3 – Brazil 1
Our three Australian players all featured in this match the first of two played in Sydney. Goalkeeper Steph Catley played the full 90 minutes, as did Steph Catley in midfield, Caitlin Foord started and was substituted in the 77th minute. Steph provided the assist for the third Australian goal.
World Championship Group D – England 4 – Northern Ireland 0
This match was played at Wembley, Leah Williamson captained England playing as a holding midfielder rather than her normal Arsenal position of Centre Back. Both teams started unbeaten after the first two group games and Northern Ireland were absolutely resolute in defence for the first 60 minutes.
England dominated the game but failed to breach the Irish defence. On the right wing Nikita Parris worked tirelessly but couldn’t force the breakthrough. She was substituted in the 63rd minute for fellow gunner Beth Mead with Bethany England also entering the fray at the same time. These substitutions proved inspired as with fresh legs they completely turned the game on its head.
Mead scored a hat-trick in 15 minutes (1 – 0 min 64, 3 – 0 min 75 and 4 – 0 min 78) and Bethany scored the other goal in the 72nd minute. Leah absolutely ran the game from midfield putting in a great performance. Lotte Wubben-Moy came on in the closing stages, slotting into defence seamlessly.
Tuesday 26 October
Friendly Game – Australia 2 – Brazil 2
Again all three of our players started, as Brazil came back from a two goal deficit to earn a draw. Lydia Williams played the full 90 minutes in goal with Steph Catley and Caitlin Foord starting in midfield, both were substituted in the 81st minute. Neither player got a goal or assist but Steph Catley picked up a 70th minute booking.
Friendly game – Scotland 0 – Sweden 2
Jen Beattie started at Centre Back and played the first half.
Friendly Game USA 6 Korea Republic 0
Tobin Heath came on in the 87th minute for a cameo appearance in this one-sided friendly. To be fair to Korea after conceding an early goal they restricted the USA for most of the first half only going 2 – 0 down to a 45th minute own goal. The UISA greater strength in depth and superior skills and fitness showed in the last quarter of the game with a further four goals.
World Championship Group A – Finland 1 – Ireland 2
Katie McCabe played the full 90 minutes at left wing back and ex-gunner Louise Quinn started in the middle of the defence as Ireland produced a determined performance to justifiable edge this close encounter.
World Championship Group C – Belarus 0 – Netherlands 2
Vivianne Miedema wasn’t named in the match squad for this game which the Netherlands won with two goals in the 71st and 75th minute to save their blushes somewhat.
World Championship Group D – Latvia 0 – England 10
Leah Williamson was again captain, playing the full 90 minutes in the centre of a back three, she had another imperious game crowned off with England’s eighth goal (one of Beth Mead’s assists). Beth Mead was rewarded for her previous hat-trick with a starting place on the right wing with Nikita Parris dropping to the bench.
This game was a turkey shoot from the start with Latvia totally outclassed. Beth Mead was probably the player of the match with four assists and a goal although Ella Toone with a hat-trick took home the match ball. England unbeaten in the group after 4 games having scored 32 goals without conceding. Tougher tests will come with the two games against Austria.
World Championship Group D Northern Ireland 2 – Austria 2
Manuela Zinsberger again in goal for Austria and played the full 90 minutes. Austria took the lead at the end of the first half before a two-goal fightback saw Northern Ireland take the lead and a last-minute equaliser for Austria. This draw saw Austria drop their first points in the group handing England a clear advantage in the race for qualifying.
World Championship Group G – Switzerland 5 – Croatia 0
Lia Wälti played the full 90 minutes in the heart of midfield and Noëlle Maritz the full game at right back. Noëlle had a good game with a late first half goal, assisted by Lia, and an assist for the third goal in the 82nd minute.
World Championship group tables
The tables clearly show that the differences in performance levels varies enormously between top and bottom teams and this is clearly an issue that needs to be addressed as the women’s game progresses.
The lower teams need to have an injection of cash and training in an effort to raise their standards. Games resulting in scorelines of 8 – 0 or higher really have little relevance or significance other than as training exercises for the winners.
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