Following their 1-0 defeat to Germany, England took on France on Saturday morning in Dusseldorf and won the game 4-0.
England were playing in their usual 4-3-3 set-up. Here’s the starting 11 and the substitutions. England had a few players in the stands not on the teamsheet that played in Germany, including Arsenal Ladies u17 captain Laura Hooper.
1-Katie Startup; 2-Loris Joel, 5-Anna Patten (16-Lotte Wubben-Moy 41′), 6-Riva Casley, 3-Taylor Hinds; 4-Hollie Olding (14-Grace Smith 75′), 8-Connie Scofield (15-Anna Filbey 41′), 10-Georgie Stanway (cap.) (18-Natalie Taylor 75′); 7-Hannah Cain (17-Ella Toone 41′), 9-Alessia Russo (19-Ellie Brazil 65′), 11-Niamh Charles (12-Kelsey Pearson 65′).
England started the game in a very disciplined manner, waiting for the French team to attack and hitting them on the break with their three quick forwards. They managed to get behind the defense a few times, including a disallowed goal for a foul on a defender by Russo, that was debatable.
France had many chances by Bourdieu and Boussaha but were not clinical at all, with Startup in the England goal having an excellent first half. From one of the counter-attacks, Russo was sent through and scored to give England a 1-0 lead (31′).
Both sides created chances with France having more ball possession but not being very effective. Half-time was reached with the 1-0 scoreline, with France unable to convert one of their four clear chances.
As usual, many changes were made at half-time and England came out of the starting block the strongest with France totally anemic and unable to muster any attack – their first shot came in the 67th minute. By that time England were now deservedly 4-0 up.
First the Arsenal midfielder Filbey scored a header from a corner kick. She was left unmarked and put it past Joly with a powerful header (50′), then Russio was rugby tackled after beating Laplacette to the ball. The French defender was sent-off for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity and Stanway scored for the penalty spot (57′).
With ten players and 3-0 down, the French team didn’t really manage to get hold of the ball or organise a fightback as they looked extremely tired despite coach Soubeyrand changing nearly the whole side. A few minutes later, Stanway scored her second and England’s fourth goal from a 35-yard lob that dipped above Joly (64′).
The game was then over and the last 15 minutes were played at a slower pace.
England finished the game 4-0 winners.
England will play the Elite Round from the 24th to the 29th of March in Serbia competing against Belgium, Iceland and the hosts. The six Group winners and the best runner-up will qualify for the finals to be played from the 4th to the 16th of May 2016 in Belarus.
The top three teams from the finals will qualify for the u17 World Cup to be played in Jordan from the 30th of September to the 21st of October 2016.