So it was a very competitive game yesterday. High intensity, meaty challenges, sometimes over the top that led to injuries. I am not sure the clubs vying for Alex Scott and Kelly Smith’s signatures made of the game. Someone in Lincoln must not be happy.
Funnily enough, we saw a very disciplined display from the French team. Mistakes made against Finland were rectified and all the players including forwards like Thiney worked very hard to keep the defensive shape and match England work ethics.
So from the French team, it was the usual ball possession game with patient build up but also mixed with agressivity in defending to deny space and time to England’s midfield and forwards. The plan did work a treat as England got a couple of chances but couldn’t get behind France’s defense for most of the game.
The England team had made 8 changes from the previous Swiss game, the side selected had the expected front 4 but a few suprises in defense/ midfield with Unitt and Fara Williams dropped.
The English approach was to keep ball at the back, try to go through midfield and failing that hit it long for the forward to run through or win the second ball near the penalty area. They also loaded the penalty area on every set pieces and it nearly paid off twice. The first one Jill Scott got a rebound but hit the ball high fin the stand from close range and on the second one, England did score but the goal was disallowed for charging the goalkeeper.
That goal would have probably stood in England to be fair, as the attitude towards pushing and showing in the penalty area is more relaxed than on the continent.
So overall England lacked creativity in Midfield and it cost them the games alongside 3 defensive mistakes 2 of them not clearing properly and cross and a Bardsley handling mistake.
Final score France 3 England 0