A striking victory
Thursday, 25 March, 2010
Three forwards score as England beat Austria in World Cup Qualifier.
Glenn Lavery at Loftus Road
England 3-0 Austria
FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 Qualifier
7pm, Thursday 25 March 2010
Loftus Road, Queens Park Rangers FC
Exclusively live and free of charge on FATV
A goal apiece from three forwards gave the England Women’s team a deserved victory over Austria in their third World Cup Qualifier, at Loftus Road.
Lianne Sanderson opened the scoring just after quarter of an hour when she headed home Eniola Aluko’s deep cross. The roles were reversed on 68 minutes when Sanderson dug out a cross from an almost central position which Aluko expertly guided into the corner of the net with a cute flick of her boot.
In the final minute Ellen White, on her England debut, lifted the ball over the sliding Austrian goalkeeper, Jasmin Pfeiler, to round off a very good evening for her and for England.
This win leaves the Three Lions nicely positioned in Group 5, three points behind Spain, who they meet next Thursday at the Den, but with a game in hand.
Despite the comfortable margin, it was actually the visiting side who had the first effort of note, through the captain, Nina Aigner, but her 25-yard, left-foot strike was well watched and well held by Karen Bardsley in the England goal. Despite some neat and deliberate build-up play, it wasn’t until the 13th minute that England had their first attempt, through Aluko, and she soon made it two attempts in a minute, but Pfeiler was behind them both.
Aluko would have more joy just three minutes later though, as it was her teasing cross that led to the opening goal. Scott played Aluko in down the right and the forward skipped past Entner courtesy of a nutmeg. Her deep centre was met in the air by the rising Sanderson who headed home, though the ball did get a slight deflection off Susanna Gahleitner.
This goal appeared to liven England up and they began to enjoy more possession in the final third, sending in a couple of low crosses and through balls which Pfeiler managed to deal with. With the exception of long-range efforts from Marion Groebner and Entner - a very decent 35-yard drive which Bardsley did well to tip over - England were dominating without finding a second goal.
After they had conceded the opening goal - and much like England experienced in Turkey in November - Austria appeared happy to plant all eleven players inside their own half in an attempt to stifle, but the hosts were putting together far more coherent passing moves than they did in Izmir.
Eventually Austria found their feet again and pushed players forward, though, admittedly without posing much of a threat, however they had appeared ready to make a game of it once more, but the half-time whistle interrupted the Austrian flow.
If the first half was fairly event-free, the second half began in very exciting fashion. First, Sanderson’s deft flick found Aluko inside the area, but Pfeiler was quickly off her line to foil the St Louis Athletica forward and the ‘keeper’s alertness again denied England, this time at the expense of Scott who had found a yard of space.
However, Austria soon came within the frame of the goal from equalising after an uncharacteristic mistake from Rachel Unitt saw the ball fall to Daniella Tasch. The winger’s shot from the edge of the box was firm and true but it cannoned off the bar with Bardsley beaten.
On 58 minutes, after Aluko saw a curled effort parried, she collected the ball on the opposite side of the area and found Scott unmarked in front of goal, barely two yards, but the midfielder couldn’t quite organise her feet and she fluffed her shot wide.
The whirlwind start to the second half suggested there were more goals in this game and Powell replaced the right-back, Dunia Susi, with Leeds Carnegie forward, White, in a bold substitution with just under half-an-hour remaining, and on 68 minutes Aluko effectively sealed the victory with a delightful finish.
As if to return the favour for Aluko providing her opening goal, Sanderson delivered a lofted through ball into the Austrian area and Aluko met it on the volley, deftly flicking the ball beyond Pfeiler.
It might have got better for England had Fara Williams been able to convert Rachel Yankey’s near-post corner in the 75th minute, but Austria had enough bodies in the way to prevent the concession of a third goal.
Although England looked comfortable for their two-goal cushion, Sarah Puntigam decided to increase Austria’s tally of long range shots, but the ball flew just beyond the angle of post and bar. As if stirred by that effort, Aluko then tried for her second goal of the evening, bundling her way past two defenders and into the area, but, slightly off balance, she could not find a way past Pfeiler.
As the game entered the final ten minutes, England pressed for a third and had three good chances in quick succession. First, White headed Yankey's free-kick into the side-netting at the back post. Then Aluko saw a low shot fizz just wide before Williams’ left-foot attempt clipped the top of the crossbar.
There was still time for Powell to create another England debutant when Claire Rafferty replaced Unitt for the final three minutes and before the final whistle White had made it 3-0, latching onto Sanderson's through ball and calmly chipping the ball over Pfeiler.
1 Karen Bardsley, 2 Dunia Susi (17 Ellen White, 62), 3 Rachel Unitt (18 Claire Rafferty, 87), 4 Katie Chapman, 5 Faye White (C), 6 Casey Stoney, 7 Alex Scott, 8 Fara Williams, 9 Eniola Aluko, 10 Lianne Sanderson, 11 Rachel Yankey (14 Sue Smith, 87)
Substitutes not used 12 Jill Scott, 13 Rachel Brown, 15 Laura Bassett, 16 Lindsay Johnson
Head Coach Hope Powell
1 Jasmin Pfeiler, 2 Susanna Gahleitner, 3 Susanna Hoeller, 4 Marlies Hanscaitz, 5 Kathrin Entner, 6 Carina Wenninger, 7 Marion Groebner (11 Nina Burger, 63), 8 Nadine Prohaska, 10 Sarah Puntigam, 14 Nina Aigner (C), 15 Daniella Tasch
Substitutes not used 21 Bianca Reischer, 12 Kathrin Hoellmueller, 13 Nicole Gatternig, 17 Susanna Koch
Head Coach Mag. Johannes Uhlig
Referee Caroline De Boeck (BEL)
Assistant Referees Anne Cheron & Hennelore Onsea (both BEL)
Fourth Official Lisa Rashid (ENG)