Tue, Jun 11, 2019 - Page 16 News List

England edge old rivals, while Italy, Brazil also win

AFP, NICE, France

England’s Ellen White, left, scores past Scotland goalkeeper Lee Alexander, right, in their FIFA Women’s World Cup Group D match in Nice, France, on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

A Nikita Parris penalty on Sunday set England on their way to a 2-1 win over Scotland in Nice to open their FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign after Italy and Brazil both emerged victorious.

It was an ideal start for Phil Neville’s side, who are among the tournament favorites, on a hot evening on the Cote d’Azur, with Ellen White also on target for England in the first half before Claire Emslie pulled one back for Scotland.

The Group D encounter ultimately hinged on the 14th-minute penalty, converted by Parris, which was awarded following a video assistant referee review of a handball by Scotland defender Nicola Docherty.

“We have been given two talks by referees, and both said that was going to be a penalty,” Neville said of the controversial award. “I have not seen it, I didn’t look at it, I just trusted that the minute the referee came over, the minute that she does that, I think it is going to be a penalty.”

Scotland coach Shelley Kerr described the decision as “harsh,” but at least her team gave a much better account of themselves in the second half, just two years after losing 6-0 to the same opponents in their opening match at the European Championships.

Neville called it an “unbelievable occasion,” but the only disappointment was that there were little more than 13,000 fans inside the ground, fewer than the number of tickets FIFA said had been sold for the match.

England will be back in Nice to face former winners Japan in their final Group D game, but before that they go to Le Havre to take on Argentina. Scotland face Japan next.

Elsewhere on Sunday, there was agony for Australia as they conceded a stoppage-time goal to lose 2-1 to Italy in Valenciennes.

Barbara Bonansea ensured the Azzurre made a dramatic return to the World Cup after a 20-year absence, popping up at the back post to head in a stoppage-time winner in the Group C clash.

It was a second goal of the game for the Juventus player, who had already leveled, canceling out an opener from Sam Kerr.

Brazil got off to a great start, with Cristiane filling the gap left by absent star Marta as she scored a hat-trick to secure a 3-0 win over Jamaica.

“Our attack was a huge point of satisfaction,” Brazil coach Vadao said. “Especially Cristiane, who the coaching staff has always believed in, despite her injuries.”

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