Attacking England pleases head coach Mark Sampson

Sunday 14 Jun 2015
England Women's head coach Mark Sampson

Mark Sampson praised his forward players after a dominant England Women’s side picked up their first World Cup points with a 2-1 win over Mexico.

The Three Lions created chances throughout but had to wait until the 71st minute before player of the match Fran Kirby broke the deadlock.

Substitute Karen Carney nodded home a crucial second with just five minutes remaining. Fabiola Ibarra reduced arrears in added time but England held on for the victory.

England 2-1 Mexico

FIFA Women's World Cup 2015
Group F
Saturday 13 June
Moncton Stadium, New Brunswick, Canada

The head coach was pleased with the way his side responded after the Lionesses’ opening-day loss to France.

Sampson said: “If we got enough balls to our special players I knew they would [eventually] produce something special and that’s exactly what happened.

“Hats off to their goalkeeper. She pulled off some fantastic saves, and their defenders made some good blocks.

“My focus from the game is the domination of England and England finding a way to camp in an opponents’ half, creating opportunities.

“I have no doubt that as this tournament goes on, if we can continue to create anywhere near that number of opportunities, our forwards will step up and put the ball in the back of the net.

“We took a lot of stick after the France game about how we created chances but we spent a lot of time in the Mexico half and played some fantastic football.

Fran Kirby celebrates after breaking the deadlock against Mexico

Fran Kirby celebrates after breaking the deadlock

“The flair players made a difference today. [Toni] Duggan, [Eniola] Aluko, Carney, Kirby all had a big impact today.”

Sampson was also pleased with the way his side handled the pressure following the result of the day’s early kick-off.

Colombia defeated France 2-0 which meant if England lost to Mexico they would be left needing a win over the South Americans in their final group match and be reliant on other results going their way in order to reach the last 16.

Sampson added: “It was a crucial day for us. The players had to handle that extra pressure of knowing a loss today would have meant England going home.

“It was great for the players to experience that, and I think it showed in the opening 10 minutes. It was a little bit tight, a little bit tense, and we were overly keen to start quickly.

“But this team showed its maturity to manage the game. We controlled our emotions. We couldn’t get the early goal but stayed patient.

 “We were fully aware of the other result. We were sitting in the changing room and we could hear the crowd. We knew it was an important day and the players delivered.

“It was a huge positive for us because we are going to have to handle pressure in this tournament.”

By Glenn Lavery in Moncton, New Brunswick