Lions end campaign on a high
Saturday, 21 August, 2010
England beat Austria 4-0 in final World Cup qualifier.
by Tony Leighton in Krems
Kelly Smith hit two goals as England completed their World Cup qualifying group campaign with a comfortable victory, an unbeaten record and top place in Group 5.
Right-back Alex Scott and substitute Ellen White were also on target to give Hope Powell’s team their seventh group win, the other one of their eight games having been drawn. They now have to go through play-offs, along with the other seven European group winners, to reach next year’s Finals in Germany.
And they should enter those September play-offs in confident mood after a commanding performance in energy-sapping temperatures close to 30 degrees in Krems, 70 miles north west of Vienna.
They controlled proceedings from the first whistle and took just seven minutes to take the lead through Smith.
Right-winger Karen Carney, who had earlier gone close with a 20-yard cross-shot, chipped a pass to the edge of the penalty area for the striker to brilliantly control the ball with her first touch then drive forward to slide a 12-yard shot just inside the post.
Carney’s clever play continually stretched the Austrian defence and in the 24th minute she set up Alex Scott with a chance that the right back struck wide of the near post.
The defender made up for that miss six minutes later, crossing from the right and left winger Rachel Yankey turning the ball back into the middle for Smith to tap home from inside the six-yard box.
It was the same three-player combination that led to the third goal, Yankey this time providing the cross and Smith setting up Scott to score from ten yards.
Smith was substituted at half-time and without her England did not have the same incisiveness going forward, but they were never in danger of losing their grip even though goalkeeper Rachel Brown had to make a couple of saves. The 'keeper kept out efforts from midfielder Nadine Prohaska in the 48th minute and substitute Nina Burger five minutes from time.
But between those two incidents midfielder Jill Scott and Carney both went close at the other end before White, in the 80th minute, scrambled home her fourth goal in six England appearances from Alex Scott’s low cross. And seconds after Brown had saved from Burger the visitors went desperately close to a fifth goal when Yankey’s shot struck the crossbar.
Pfeiler; Spieler, Holler, Wenninger (Puntigan, 46), Poltl, Grossinger, Feiersivger (Kirchberger, 67), Spieler, Prohaska, Grobner (Burger 46), Nakas
Substitutes not used Kristler, Danhart, Rappold, Zadrazil
1 Rachel Brown, 2 Alex Scott, 3 Rachel Unitt, 4 Katie Chapman (17 Steph Houghton, 60), 5 Faye White (16 Sophie Bradley, 46), 6 Casey Stoney (Chelsea), 7 Karen Carnery, 8 Fara Williams, 9 Kelly Smith (15 Ellen White, 46), 10 Jill Scott, 11 Rachel Yankey
Substitutes not used 13 Siobhan Chamberlain, 12 Jess Clarke, 14 Laura Bassett, 18 Dunia Susi