In their opening match of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017, the Lionesses were merciless against a Scotland side in the tournament for the first time in their history.
Sixteen places separate these sides in the FIFA rankings and though that doesn’t sound like much, it is a chasm in women’s football. The breakthrough came in the 10 minute when Jodie Taylor ran on to a through ball that split the defence and calmly slotted past the goalkeeper. The same player then scored again when a free kick led to a messy scramble in front of goal, before Taylor took the opportunity from a tight angle. Jill Scott then took a chance from forty yards out and the ball crashed off the crossbar and into the path of Ellen White, who made it 3-0 just after the half hour.
Half-Time: England 3-0 Scotland
Scotland would have hoped to limit the damage in the second half but it was the same old story when Taylor ran onto another through ball and lobbed the onrushing keeper to complete her hat-trick. That looked to be the last goal in the match before a fantastic volley from Jordan Nobbs and a near-post header from Toni Duggan completed the rout in the dying minutes. The Lionesses could not have hoped for a better start to the tournament and certainly lived up to their tag as one of the favourites. Scotland, on the other hand, could not cope at all with the movement and speed of England and now face an uphill struggle against Spain and fellow debutantes Portugal to progress to the knockout stages of this competition.