Nikita Parris in buoyant mood ahead of Mexico encounter

Thursday 07 Aug 2014
Nikita Parris in World Cup action against South Korea (FIFA/Getty Images)

Nikita Parris believes England can use their performance against South Korea as a springboard for the rest of the FIFA Women’s U20 World Cup.

The Young Lions drew their opening Group C match after Martha Harris cancelled out Sodam Lee’s 15th-minute penalty.

England’s second game is against Mexico on Saturday and Parris reckons there were plenty of positives to take from the way they clawed their way back against the reigning Asian champions.

England v Mexico

FIFA Women's U20 World Cup
Group C
6pm BST, Saturday 9 August 2014
Moncton Stadium, Canada
Live on Eurosport

She said: “We showed resilience and we showed that we are hard to beat.

“If you look at my reaction after their goal I was telling the girls ‘Come on, we can do this’. I thought we responded brilliantly.

“We were a bit unlucky to concede the penalty in the first place but I knew we were going to come back. Katie [Zelem] had a chance straightaway after we went 1-0 down and we were always knocking on the door after that.

“We knew if we stuck to the game plan that we would get a result and we did just that.

“We built on the goal and some of our play was excellent towards the end. We knew we had South Korea under the cosh and the last 10 minutes we were flying.”

Parris has been in prolific form for Everton this season, scoring eight goals in 13 games – and she has netted 21 goals in 38 matches for England at youth level.

But against South Korea she left the goalscoring duties to right-back Harris – who had never before registered for her country.

Parris said: “She showed great composure and it was a really important goal for us.

“I thought she played well the whole game. She tackled well, covered the centre halves and she should be really proud of her performance.”

Parris hit the bar in added time with an audacious 30-yarder, while Beth Mead also missed two late chances to win the game, and the 20-year-old knows where England have to improve if they are to claim all three points against Mexico at the weekend.

Parris added: “We need more composure in the final third.

“We had a lot of chances against South Korea and we didn’t take them so we just need to be a bit tidier in front of goal.”

She continued: “I’m loving this World Cup. Canada is a lovely place and we’ve got a great team vibe.

“Hopefully we can build on that first game and I’m sure we’ll get better and better.”

By Glenn Lavery in Moncton, Canada