Mark Sampson’s England got the best possible start in Group D with a 6-0 win over local rivals, Scotland while Spain won the Iberian peninsula derby 2-0 against Portugal.
Spain 2 (Losada 23, Sampedro 42) Portugal 0
Spain did their outsider credentials no harm with a brilliant win against Portugal who were totally dominated and looked one of the poorest sides of the tournament alongside Scotland.
Spain will be a tough opponent for England and Mark Sampson is well aware of their threat. Sunday’s game between England and Spain is likely to decide who win will Group D.
England 6 (Taylor 11, 26, 53; White 32; Nobbs 87; Duggan 90+3) Scotland 0
England won the derby against Scotland in extraordinary fashion recording the biggest ever finals win with a 6-0 hammering.
Arsenal’s Jodie Taylor also hit the first hat-trick at the finals for 20 years.
There was no contest between a well-drilled England side and a poor Scotland team who are missing four of their starters through injury and do not have depth in their squad to cover for them.
The England game plan worked out perfectly – scoring early, then adding more goals.
Scotland’s overall defensive performance was woeful as individual and team errors cost them six goals, showing international tournaments do not allow for erratic defending and sub-par performances.
Tactically, Scotland’s 4-1-4-1 played in to England’s hands with Ross upfront on her own and no-one able to support her, which led to waves of attacking moves from England and Scotland always on the back foot.
Players and coaching staff will have to regroup and prepare for the must win-game against Portugal.
Let’s hope that Anna Signeul will change tactics and the players who did not perform on Wednesday.