Ellen White, Eniola Aluko and Toni Duggan score as the Three Lions beat New Zealand
England 3-1 New Zealand
12.30pm GMT, Monday 11 March 2013
by Glenn Lavery
England are in the Cyprus Cup final after coming from behind to beat New Zealand 3-1 on Monday.
The Lionesses headed into the game knowing only victory would do after a win and a draw, against Italy and Scotland, in their previous group games.
However, they fell behind after Amber Hearn capitalised on Rachel Yankey's loose pass to fire the 'Football Ferns' ahead after just seven minutes.
But two goals in three minutes from Ellen White (71) and Eniola Aluko (73) put Hope Powell's side ahead midway through the second half while Toni Duggan sealed the win in the last minute.
Those three goals capped a dominant second-half performance by England who go into Wednesday's final against Canada (a repeat of the 2009 final) having scored eleven goals so far in this tournament.
Yankey and Aluko both called New Zealand stopper Erin Naylor into action early on as the Three Lions started brightly.
But they found themselves 1-0 down soon after when Hearn collected Yankey's misplaced ball to Jill Scott, evaded Sophie Bradley's sliding tackle and whipped a shot into Siobhan Chamberlain's top right-hand corner.
Yankey and Aluko were involved in England's next two chances with Naylor equal to both efforts yet again.
Three changes at the break gave England fresh impetus at the start of the second half as Rachel Unitt, Fara Williams and Anita Asante came on for Steph Houghton, Karen Carney and Casey Stoney. And Unitt was involved almost immediately as her long throw was flicked on in the box by Jill Scott and Jess Clarke forced Naylor into another save at her near post.
New Zealand's Hannah Wilkinson tried her luck from the edge of the box and Chamberlain let the ball creep wide of the upright.
England came close to netting the equaliser just before the hour mark as Scott teed up Williams 18 yards out, only for the Liverpool midfielder to side-foot a low shot just past the post.
The equaliser eventually came after 71 minutes as the recently-introduced White picked up Aluko's pass on the right, broke into the box and unleashed an angled drive into the far corner. It was her third goal in three Cyprus Cup matches.
And England were ahead two minutes later as Aluko cracked a shot into the roof of the net after Alex Scott's high ball fell kindly for her inside the area.
The Kiwis almost levelled with a couple of minutes remaining as Powell's team failed to properly clear a corner, but Hearn's shot hit the angle of post and bar and Alex Scott blocked the follow-up.
Duggan secured the victory in the final minute as she beat Naylor to Williams's long ball through the centre and rolled the ball into the empty net.
Wednesday's Cyprus Cup final will kick-off at 4pm UK time.
13 Siobhan Chamberlain, 2 Alex Scott, 3 Steph Houghton (19 Rachel Unitt 46), 4 Jill Scott, 5 Sophie Bradley (18 Laura Bassett, 66), 6 Casey Stoney (C) (8 Anita Asante, 46), 7 Karen Carney (12 Fara Williams, 46), 9 Eniola Aluko, 11 Rachel Yankey (20 Toni Duggan, 79), 15 Jess Clarke (14 Ellen White, 69), 17 Jordan Nobbs
Subs not used
1 Karen Bardsley, 16 Dunia Susi, 21 Rachel Brown, 22 Rachel Williams.