Women's Senior
Women's Senior

Sweden edge England Women to spoil Steph Houghton's 100th cap

Sunday 11 Nov 2018
England were beaten at home for the first time since February 2015

England Women slipped to a 2-0 defeat by Sweden on the day captain Steph Houghton won her 100th cap.

Sofia Jakobsson opened the scoring on 20 minutes and Anna Anvegard doubled the lead just after the half-hour mark.

Head coach Phil Neville changed the entire starting 11 from Thursday’s 3-0 win in Austria but they were unable to turn things around in front of a sell-out crowd in Rotherham.

England 0-2 Sweden
  • A Women's International
  • Sunday 11 November 2018
  • New York Stadium, Rotherham
It was the Lionesses’ first home loss since the 1-0 reverse against USA in February 2015.

Despite the result, it was a day to remember for Houghton as she became just the 11th member of an illustrious list of England centurions.

The 29-year-old made her debut against Russia in March 2007 and has gone on to appear at two European Championships and two World Cups, leading her country to a third-place finish at Canada 2015.

England didn’t create too many chances in a subdued first half at the New York Stadium and they were made to pay by Jakobsson’s fine left-foot strike.

The 28-year-old picked up the ball on the right-hand touchline, cut in past Beth Mead and looped a 20-yard shot over Cary Telford’s despairing dive.

It got worse on 32 minutes when the hosts failed to deal with a Sweden corner.

Caroline Seger hit the post with a header and with England unable to clear their lines, Jakobsson clipped a cross in from the right.

The ball was knocked back to Anvegard who swivelled and smashed home her first goal for her country.

Steph Houghton celebrated her 100th cap with her family

England improved after the break but couldn’t find a goal their second-half display merited.

Isobel Christiansen hit a decent chance over the top after some great work by her Lyon club mate Lucy Bronze.

Substitute Toni Duggan, on for Mead, forced Hedvig Lindahl into a good save with Nikita Parris unable to follow up and Parris hit a shot off target late on when well placed inside the box.

Sweden, who were defensively sound all afternoon, didn’t threaten much in the second half and only called Telford into action once, when she saved from Elin Rubensson.

England (4-3-3): 1 Carly Telford (Chelsea); 2 Lucy Bronze (Lyon), 5 Steph Houghton (capt; Manchester City), 6 Millie Bright (Chelsea), 3 Alex Greenwood (Manchester United); 4 Isobel Christiansen (Lyon), 10 Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), 8 Jill Scott (Manchester City); 7 Nikita Parris (Manchester City), 9 Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), 11 Beth Mead (Arsenal).

Substitutes: 19 Toni Duggan (Barcelona) for Mead 46, 20 Georgia Stanway (Manchester City) for Christiansen 73, 22 Melissa Lawley (Manchester City) for Daly 73, 17 Lucy Staniforth (Birmingham City) for Scott 83.

Substitutes not used: 12 Hannah Blundell (Chelsea), 13 Mary Earps (Wolfsburg), 14 Abbie McManus (Manchester City), 15 Leah Williamson (Arsenal), 16 Gabrielle George (Everton), 19 Karen Carney (Chelsea), 21 Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City), 23 Chioma Ubogagu (Brisbane Roar – on loan from Orlando Pride).

Head coach: Phil Neville

Attendance: 9,561

By Glenn Lavery