Women's International Friendlies
England2Denmark0

England women 2-0 Denmark women: Nikita Parris & Jill Scott give Lionesses friendly win

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Highlights: England 2-0 Denmark

England recovered from a shaky start in each half to beat Euro 2017 finalists Denmark in their penultimate friendly before the Women's World Cup.

A stuttering performance was punctuated by a 12th England goal from Nikita Parris on the stroke of half-time.

Jill Scott then marked her captain's role with a second-half header to put England in control.

The Lionesses, who at times struggled to retain possession in midfield, had a couple of scares as Sanne Troelsgaard had a shot blocked by Jade Moore and Karen Bardsley saved from Pernille Harder.

But once Georgia Stanway and Scott pushed further forward from midfield, they helped create chances for Phil Neville's side, who face New Zealand in their final friendly next Saturday before their opening World Cup game against Scotland in Nice on 9 June.

Stanway was one of England's better players, while Parris showed the kind of ruthlessness that has secured a move from Manchester City to European champions Lyon earlier this week.

However, on a bobbly and dry pitch in front of 8,273 fans at Walsall's Banks's Stadium, England showed there is still room for improvement if they are to be considered as one of the favourites to win the tournament in France.

England still have teething problems

Neville said before the game that he would use this match or the New Zealand one to name his strongest team for England's World Cup opener against Scotland.

On the basis of this selection, that is likely to come next weekend because Lucy Bronze and Toni Duggan were both rested after their Champions League exploits last weekend.

The Danes found holes in England's defence as Neville's team - who spent time with the Royal Marines to prepare for this match - also struggled for cohesion going forward.

Part of the problem seemed to be another slow start, which also occurred in their last friendly against Spain, and a 4-3-3 formation which offered a lack of support to Ellen White from central midfield.

With Stanway and Scott playing in front of a deeper Jade Moore, there was plenty of space behind White to exploit. And once the Manchester City pair pushed further forward, they began to create chances.

Scott's surging run set up White - now also of City - but she could only stab wide, before Scott poked over from Stanway's clipped pass.

Behind them, Reading's Moore, who has been injured for a large part of the season, struggled to retain possession as she was preferred to Kiera Walsh of Manchester City.

Denmark, who failed to qualify for the World Cup and are ranked 17th in the world, also had a goal ruled out for handball when it appeared to strike Signe Bruun's shoulder.

But Parris' strike and Scott's header, which came from a fine break forward from Stanway, showed the hosts can pierce a stubborn defence when the players combine well.

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Neville admits he was 'bored' in first half of England win

Who advanced their claims for World Cup start?

Despite their problems, there were positives for England, who once again showed they can win games despite not playing at their best.

The SheBelieves Cup winners, ranked third in the world, have suffered home friendly defeats by Sweden and Canada in recent months, but with the likes of Bronze, Duggan and captain Steph Houghton missing, stronger personnel are likely to be included once they begin their World Cup campaign.

Parris' strike, in an otherwise quiet game, was top class, while Stanway showed she can be a driving force from midfield with some clever runs and approach play, including for Scott's goal, which came from Beth Mead's cross.

Fran Kirby, who came on as a substitute after missing last month's friendlies against Canada and Spain, also showed touches of her quality and is likely to fill the number 10 position should Neville choose that formation.

On her 135th cap, Scott also demonstrated why she is one of the mainstays of England's team with another energetic performance, while Bardsley cemented her position as the Lionesses' number one with some decent stops.

Player of the match: Jill Scott (England)

Jill Scott scores for England women against Denmark
A performance brimming with energy and endeavour capped by a fine headed goal. England may have struggled for rhythm but Jill Scott's work-rate did not drop.

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame this summer to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women's sport available to watch across the BBC this summer, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women's sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.

Line-ups

England

  • 1Bardsley
  • 17Daly
  • 14Williamson
  • 6Bright
  • 12Stokes
  • 8Scott
  • 16Moore
  • 19StanwaySubstituted forKirbyat 61'minutes
  • 7ParrisSubstituted forCarneyat 61'minutes
  • 18White
  • 22MeadSubstituted forStaniforthat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Bronze
  • 3Greenwood
  • 4Walsh
  • 5Houghton
  • 9Taylor
  • 10Kirby
  • 15McManus
  • 20Carney
  • 21Earps
  • 23Staniforth

Denmark

  • 1Abel
  • 4Sevecke
  • 19Pedersen
  • 3Arnth Jensen
  • 24Svava
  • 13Junge Pedersen
  • 14SørensenSubstituted forThogersenat 75'minutes
  • 7Troelsgaard NielsenSubstituted forTavlo-Peterssonat 75'minutes
  • 2SnerleSubstituted forGejlat 41'minutes
  • 20BruunSubstituted forMarie Madsenat 64'minutes
  • 10Harder

Substitutes

  • 6Christiansen
  • 12Marie Madsen
  • 15Thogersen
  • 17Tavlo-Petersson
  • 18Holmgaard
  • 21Gejl
  • 22Larsen
  • 25Karlsen
  • 26Hashemi
Referee:
Desiree Grundbacher

Match Stats

Home TeamEnglandAway TeamDenmark
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home10
Away12
Shots on Target
Home2
Away4
Corners
Home1
Away8
Fouls
Home8
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, England 2, Denmark Women 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, England 2, Denmark Women 0.

Jade Moore (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Rikke Marie Madsen (Denmark Women).

Attempt blocked. Ellen White (England) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jill Scott.

Attempt saved. Pernille Harder (Denmark Women) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Lucy Staniforth (England) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Francesca Kirby.

Demi Stokes (England) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Frederikke Thogersen (Denmark Women).

Attempt saved. Pernille Harder (Denmark Women) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Rikke Sevecke with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, England. Lucy Staniforth replaces Beth Mead.

Demi Stokes (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Frederikke Thogersen (Denmark Women).

Offside, England. Beth Mead tries a through ball, but Ellen White is caught offside.

Foul by Jade Moore (England).

Pernille Harder (Denmark Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Denmark Women. Julie Tavlo-Petersson replaces Sanne Troelsgaard Nielsen.

Substitution

Substitution, Denmark Women. Frederikke Thogersen replaces Nicoline Sørensen.

Jill Scott (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Rikke Marie Madsen (Denmark Women).

Ellen White (England) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Janni Arnth (Denmark Women).

Corner, Denmark Women. Conceded by Demi Stokes.

Attempt missed. Pernille Harder (Denmark Women) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

Nicoline Sørensen (Denmark Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Karen Carney (England).

Foul by Stine Pedersen (Denmark Women).

Ellen White (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Denmark Women. Rikke Marie Madsen replaces Signe Bruun.

Hand ball by Nicoline Sørensen (Denmark Women).

Substitution

Substitution, England. Karen Carney replaces Nikita Parris.

Substitution

Substitution, England. Francesca Kirby replaces Georgia Stanway.

Goal!

Goal! England 2, Denmark Women 0. Jill Scott (England) header from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Beth Mead with a cross.

Foul by Sofie Pedersen (Denmark Women).

Karen Bardsley (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Denmark Women. Conceded by Karen Bardsley.

Corner, Denmark Women. Conceded by Rachel Daly.

Attempt blocked. Pernille Harder (Denmark Women) header from the centre of the box is blocked.

Sofie Pedersen (Denmark Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Georgia Stanway (England).

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 25th May 2019

As It Stood

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