Competition date 08 March 2020 Competition type SheBelieves Cup
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Ellen White

Nev backed White to deliver

Lionesses head coach Phil Neville says he always knew Ellen White would impact the game

England head coach Phil Neville

Phil Neville was left enthused on Sunday evening as his Lionesses picked up their first win of the 2020 SheBelieves Cup.

After losing their opening game against USA last week, England quickly put the disappointment behind them with victory over Japan in New Jersey.

As she has on so many occasions, substitute Ellen White proved England’s saviour as she popped up with the winner with just ten minutes remaining.

And Neville admits he always believed she’d have an impact when he introduced her to the game with just over 20 minutes remaining, at a venue where she’s scored a brace in a 2-2 draw with Germany in the 2018 SheBelieves Cup and the winner over USA in 2017.

“I told her before the game that she would come off the bench and score,” revealed Neville.

“When you look at her record at this stadium, it's fantastic.

“We feel that within the camp there is a real spirit of togetherness building and that comes from winning - that is the most important thing about top-level sport.

“We should’ve really been 3-0 up at half time in this game and then as the game went on our control and patience was brilliant - I'm proud of their performances.”

England Women's manager Phil Neville

Neville was also pleased with the contributions from a number of his players, particularly the younger members of the squad.

“I thought Bethany England was fantastic in the first half and could have had a goal for herself,” he added.

“What you saw from Chloe Kelly is that she can play at this level, what you saw from Ellie Roebuck is that she is continuing her progression and this is her level and Lauren Hemp was just born to play at this level.

“We have some really good young players and my only regret is that I couldn't get Alessia Russo or Grace Fisk on for a taste of the environment too.”

England round-off their campaign on Wednesday evening, when they take on tournament debutants Spain in Frisco, Texas.

And with a first win under their belts, Neville is now aiming to take a second and what he believes would be a respectable showing.

“We want another three points next time around,” he said.

“I think a total of six points from this SheBelieves campaign would be a fantastic effort from this team so that's the challenge over the next few days.”

International Games

Ells hits the mark

Ellen White scored a late winner to give England a 1-0 victory over Japan at the SheBelieves Cup

Ellen White

England got their SheBelieves Cup title defence up and running with a 1-0 victory over Japan, thanks to a trademark Ellen White goal. 

Both sides struggled to forge clear cut chances as Phil Neville opted for a refreshed lineup to the one that lost 2-0 to the USA on Friday morning. 

But ultimately it was a combination of two of England's more experienced players that led to White's winner eight minutes from time in New Jersey as fellow substitute Toni Duggan laid on the chance for her strike partner.

Teenager Lauren Hemp, on her second consecutive start, very nearly gave Neville's side the perfect start when she went through one-on-one with goalkeeper Sakiko Ikeda but her effort was well-saved. 

Chloe Kelly then put Bethany England in on goal ten minutes later, but the Chelsea striker was unable to finish the chance despite her red-hot form for club this season.

England then had another good opportunity to score on the half-hour mark, this time played in by Jordan Nobbs, but again Ikeda stood firm. 

Neville made a raft of changes in the second half, including the introduction of some more experienced forwards in the form of White and Duggan. 

And it was a combination of the substitutes that ultimately resulted in the winner as Duggan picked out White for a simple finish from ten yards out. 

Japan will be disappointed by the way they gave the ball away in the lead up to the goal, but that didn't stop White pulling out the trademark celebration on her 91st England appearance.  

England will play their final game of the competition against Spain on Wednesday (11 March). 

Highlights of the game will be available first to subscribers of FA Player.

England: 13 Ellie Roebuck, 14 Racehel Daly, 5 Steph Houghton (c), 6 Millie Bright, 12 Demi Stokes, 4 Keira Walsh, 16 Georgia Stanway, 10 Jordan Nobbs, 20 Lauren Hemp, 22 Chloe Kelly, 9 Bethany England

Substitutes: 14 Leah Williamson for Walsh 60, 11 Toni Duggan for Hemp 60, 7 Nikita Parris for Kelly 60, 18 Ellen White for England 69, 17 Lucy Staniforth for Stanway 69, 8 Jill Scott for Nobbs 90+2

Substitutes not used: 1 Carly Telford, 3 Alex Greenwood, 15 Abbie McManus, 19 Alessia Russo, 21 Sandy MacIver, 23 Grace Fisk

Goals: Ellen White 82

Head coach: Phil Neville

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