Seven again in Serbia as England edge closer to Euros

Tuesday 07 Jun 2016
England celebrate Nikita Parris's first Lionesses goal

England stormed to the top of their Euro 2017 qualifying group with their second 7-0 victory over Serbia in three days.

The Lionesses now sit on 16 points, two clear of Belgium with two qualifiers remaining.

Gemma Davison and Nikita Parris each opened their international scoring accounts with two apiece, while Jill Scott, Ellen White and a Nevena Damjanovic own goal completed the scoring.

Serbia 0-7 England

UEFA Euro 2017 Qualifier
Group 7
Serbia FA Sports Centre, Stara Pazova
Tuesday 7 June 2016

There were five changes from Saturday’s win in Wycombe with Siobhan Chamberlain, Casey Stoney, Demi Stokes, Jade Moore and Davison all coming into the starting line-up.

And it was one of the new girls who had the first effort as Moore connected with Jill Scott’s cross from the right but Serbia keeper Susanna Nilsson gathered comfortably.

Karen Carney hit a hat-trick at the weekend and she looked in the mood for more from the off. The 28-year-old swivelled and hit a low, angled drive just past the far upright.

The visitors were on top throughout and it wasn’t long before they took a deserved lead.

Jill Scott heads on to open the scoring for England

Jill Scott heads on to open the scoring for England

Stokes stood up a delicious cross from the left and Jill Scott did the rest, planting a firm header into the back of the net.

And with England dominating possession, this lead was doubled just before the half-hour mark. Stokes’s corner found its way to the edge of the box, Jill Scott fed Carney, who clipped a cross into Steph Houghton and White hooked home her captain’s knockdown from close range.

Moore came within inches of adding a quickfire third when heading Carney’s centre just wide. The skipper almost got in on the action, too, when she headed another Stokes corner just over the top.

Watch highlights of England's win over Serbia in Wycombe

But the Lionesses did claim a third before the break as Davison pounced on Mirela Tenkov’s weak backpass, rounded Nilsson and rolled the ball into an empty net for her first international goal.

She didn’t have to wait long for her second either. The second half was less than a minute old when she arrived at the back post to smash home Stokes’s deep centre.

And the Chelsea trickster was involved in the fifth goal less than 10 minutes later. Carney’s shot was saved by Nilsson but the rebound hit Davison and then Damjanovic and rolled over the line.

Sampson made three changes in the second half with Isobel Christiansen, Alex Scott and Parris replacing Fara Williams, Jill Scott and White – and Parris made an instant impact in just her second game for the senior team.

Nikita Parris nods home her first goal for England

Nikita Parris nods home her first goal for England

Stokes and Carney combined well down the left, allowing the latter to clip an inviting cross into the box which Parris glanced into the far corner before wheeling away in delight.

The closest Serbia came to troubling Chamberlain was in the final three minutes when Marija Ilic’s in-swinging corner hit the crossbar – but the England keeper had it covered.

And Parris saved the best until last when she smashed home from range her second and England’s seventh in the final minute.

England sing the national anthem ahead of kick-off in Stara Pazova

England sing the national anthem ahead of kick-off in Stara Pazova

The Lionesses are now in a strong position to qualify for next summer’s Euro finals as at least one of the six best runners-up.

They entertain Estonia in September before travelling to Belgium for what looks likely to be the group decider.

Serbia: 1 Susanne Nilsson, 2 Aleksandra Kozovic, 4 Mirela Tenkov, 6 Nevena Damjanovic, 7 Allegra Poljak, 8 Marija Ilic, 9 Marija Radojcic, 10 Jelena Cankovic, 11 Vesna Smilikovic (captain), 13 Marija Jonovic, 21 Vajda Orsoja.

Substitutes: 16 Dina Blagojevic for Damjanovic 75, 18 Jelena Cubrilo for Orsoja 82.

Substitutes not used: 12 Milica Kostic, 14 Marijana Jankov, 15 Nikoletta Nikolic, 17 Olivera Markovic, 20 Sanda Malesevic.

Head coach: Dusan Gelic

England (4-1-2-1-2): 1 Siobhan Chamberlain (Liverpool); 2 Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), 5 Steph Houghton (captain; Manchester City), 6 Casey Stoney (Arsenal), 3 Demi Stokes (Manchester City); 4 Fara Williams (Arsenal); 7 Jade Moore (Birmingham City), 8 Jill Scott (Manchester City); 10 Karen Carney (Chelsea); 9 Ellen White (Notts County), 11 Gemma Davison (Chelsea).

Substitutes: 16 Isobel Christiansen (Manchester City) for Williams ht, 14 Alex Scott (Arsenal) for J Scott 57, 17 Nikita Parris (Manchester City) for White 57.

Substitutes not used: 12 Laura Bassett (Notts County), 13 Carly Telford (Notts County), 15 Alex Greenwood (Liverpool), 18 Rachel Daly (Houston Dash).

Goals: J Scott 13, White 28, Davison 41, 46, Damjanovic 53og, Parris 69, 90.

Head coach: Mark Sampson

By Glenn Lavery in Stara Pazova, Serbia