SheBelieves Cup 2019

To make your life easier I’ll put the new reports at the top of the page so you don’t have to scroll all the way down – see, not too technologically useless…

England vs Japan SheBelieves Cup 5/3/19
Here we go, it’s ‘winner takes all’ in England’s final match of the SheBelieves Cup 2019. It’s a late kickoff on a school night so I’m going to be a bit of grumpy bagpuss in the morning.
More changes to the team including Williamson’s first appearance and Jodie Taylor starting as striker. No start for Parris or Kirby…Lucy Bronze back in the familiar role of RB. The team is a mixture of youth and experience but are they on the same wavelength?
It’s a shame there’s only a handful of spectators watching…
It’s all a bit cagey to start with. Taylor had a tricky chance that goes just wide but then a minute later a great reverse pass by her to Staniforth and a fab low shot sees England’s first goal.
The match goes very quiet, there’s so little noise from the crowd that you can actually hear the players chatter on the pitch. Just as I’m losing concentration and thinking that Japan are settling into the match Jodie Taylor turns with the ball, lifts a cross into the 6 yard box and Carney heads home. Taylor is on fire..
Beth Mead scores at 30minutes, it’s a great finish but it’s the unbelievable cross field pass from Walsh that makes the goal.
3-0 at halftime, I think I might be dreaming…?!
Japan start the second half with much more enthusiasm than the first and have a lot of good chances but I think they’ve left their shooting boots at home. There are a few chances for England. If it wasn’t for the fact that we’re 3-0 up then I’d be getting worried. We see the game out with a workmanlike second half, it’s a bit of a flat finish for us but but we’ve won the SheBelieves Cup 2019!!
My England player of the tournament – Keira Walsh – she’s quality, but generally good performances all round.
It’s way past my bedtime x

England vs USA SheBelieves Cup 2/3/19
Some team changes since the last match: Lucy Bronze is pushed up into Centre midfield, Daly takes her place at right back, Christiansen is dropped, Duggan is on for Carney, Stokes is on for Greenwood, Bardsley for Telford. Jonathan Pearce & Sue Smith are commentating, I’ve got a cold beer so all is looking good.
USA almost score in the first few seconds from a corner (nice sneaky block on our GK from one of their players that the ref didn’t notice). Then it all calms down. It’s a decent first half, both teams are playing with confidence, passing the ball around and chances are few & far between but I’m not bored – the football is good quality. There are two fabulous goals – one each. The USA goal is a great strike from the edge of the box – top bins! The England goal comes from an indirect free kick inside the USA penalty area (their GK picked up a back pass). The kick is rolled a yard sideways and Houghton curls it beautifully into the bottom corner. Classy…
Unlike the England vs Brazil match I’m actually looking forward to the second half rather than getting ready for bed!
At half time the studio commentators are bigging up England because we’re holding the USA to a draw – let’s not get ahead of ourselves, it’s a game of two halves…..!
Omg we take an lead early in the second half. A cheeky dinked pass by Fran Kirby over the USA defence for Parris to blast home. I’d love to play 5 a side with Kirby as she has great vision and that ‘pass & move’ style of game.! I just wish she could get involved more in the match.
The USA equalize and it’s our own fault. Instead of just hoofing the ball out of defence we try to play it out and end up giving away a corner that they scramble the ball into the goal from. Aaagh….
Houghton takes a ball smack in the face, that’s gotta hurt, Kirby off and Mead on.
USA nearly score from a corner (again). We must work on them…White off and Stanway on. Parris off and Taylor on with 3 minutes to go, we’re trying to win this but we look knackered! It’s all a bit frantic & scrappy. A penalty shout for USA in injury time, not given, excitement levels are up with both teams having good chances. It’s end to end stuff for a few minutes..but no more goals, 2-2 fair result.
Overall it was a great performance from England, so much better than the last match. Japan are our next opponents – that won’t be an easy match. Bring it on….

England vs Brazil SheBelieves Cup 27/2/19
First match of the cup competition and I’m not impressed with England in the first half. We are getting caught in possession because we’re taking too many touches and dithering on the ball. We‘re restricted to lumping the ball long in attack, our movement is non-existent, we’re behind our markers, the passes are going astray…I’m struggling to find any positives apart from the fact that I quite like the orange boots most of the players are wearing. Brazil score in the first half through a penalty that in everyone’s opinion, except for the referee, was never a penalty. Really ref?!
England equalized early in the second half (I missed it as I was getting ready for bed – it really was a dull first half!)Phil Neville must have given them a verbal rocket at half time as in the second half we were much, much better. Maybe Brazil were running out of energy but we had more time, space and more ideas. Beth Mead scores a corker and finally we’re ahead. We’re all over them now…goal fest? Sadly not. The match fizzles out, completely uninspiring in the last 15 minutes, ending 2-1 to England.
Nikita Parris sprained an ankle in the first half, it looked really bad but, thankfully, she’s OK. Phew!