Women's European Championship

Women's Euro 2017: England win sets up quarter-final with France

By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport in Tilburg
Women's Euro 2017
Coverage: Live commentaries on BBC Radio 5 live and online, plus live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website. Live television coverage on Channel 4

A much-changed England laboured to victory over Euro 2017's lowest ranked team Portugal to set up a quarter-final against rivals France.

The Lionesses took the lead when goalkeeper Patricia Morais kicked the ball straight to Toni Duggan and she lobbed in from 25 yards on her 50th appearance.

Portugal, who had already beaten Scotland, equalised when Diana Silva had a second chance to cross after Laura Bassett failed to clear, and Caroline Mendes tucked in.

Manager Mark Sampson made 10 changes to the side who beat Spain and they produced a poor first half - but Nikita Parris restored England's lead when she waltzed through the Portugal defence to poke home from close range.

That led to an improved second-half performance from Mark Sampson's team, but there was a scare at the end when Siobhan Chamberlain had to save Laura Luis' volley.

The Lionesses, the first England team - men's or women's - to finish a group with a perfect record since the 1982 men's World Cup, have not beaten France since 1974 and have lost to them in their past three major tournaments.

The French will not have been worried by this display - and Sampson will hope restoring some of the team who beat Scotland and Spain will lead to a more accomplished performance in Sunday's 19:45 BST kick-off.

They could yet face Spain again, after they qualified on goal difference despite losing to Scotland, who were eliminated.

Group D standings

Disappointing England fail to inspire

Sampson insisted he could rely on his whole squad to continue the momentum gained from beating Scotland 6-0 and Spain 2-0 in Group D, but that theory fell flat in the first half when there was a lack of fluency going forward and the Lionesses struggled to maintain possession.

Duggan's goal was a gift, but thereafter England could not get a grip of the ball and Portugal, ranked 38th in the world and making their European Championship debut, showed the type of incisiveness that Sampson's team were lacking when they equalised with a fine goal.

The excellent Portugal skipper Claudia Neto split the England defence open with a reverse pass and Silva got to the byeline to cross, only for it to rebound off Bassett back to her. This time she found Mendes, who scored her second goal of the tournament.

Bassett, who has not played any league football in 2017 because her club Notts County folded, looked rusty, while Fara Williams, celebrating her record 164th cap, was booked early in the game for a late tackle.

Parris struggled to hold the ball up front, too, but she turned the game around when she scored three minutes after the break when she was fed by Manchester City team-mate Izzy Christiansen, and danced around the Portugal defence before scoring her fourth England goal.

The introduction of Jordan Nobbs halfway through the second half seemed to bring some equilibrium to the England team, and it led to an improvement, but it was a night when the second string looked exactly that.

Did anyone press their claims to start against France?

Millie Bright was the only survivor from the victory over Spain, based largely on a previous hamstring injury to Casey Stoney, and she will no doubt start against France after looking assured in defence.

But Bassett appeared as though the lack of game time had an effect, and in front of that central-defensive pairing, Williams and Jo Potter were composed but did not offer any pace.

Karen Carney, Christiansen and Duggan worked hard but struggled to link well, with Parris having problems holding onto the ball.

Both goals were well taken by the former Manchester City club-mates, and it was Duggan's second of the tournament, but with top scorer Jodie Taylor sure to return, and Fran Kirby looking sharp so far, it is unlikely they will be replaced up front.

It could be argued that Alex Greenwood offered more threat from her set-piece delivery than first-choice left-back Demi Stokes, but it would be a harsh call to omit the Manchester City player.

Player of the match - Toni Duggan

Toni Duggan
Duggan lobbed in from 25 yards on her 50th appearance to give England the lead in Tilburg

England boss Mark Sampson: "We're really pleased with that result. A lot of teams found it difficult to escape their group, but building momentum is what we wanted.

"We have three wins under our belt, France have one win under their belt. We feel confident for these high-pressure games.

"We've got a two-day turnaround, but we'll be ready for France. Played three, scored 10. I can't really ask for more than that."

England's Toni Duggan, on BBC Radio 5 live: "It's going to be tough against France but any team in the latter stage of a European Championship will be tough.

"With the form we're in we have to be confident and we'll look forward to it, we showed our strength in depth tonight.

"We've made a lot of history in this tournament already, hopefully we can make some more by beating France. We want that gold medal more than anything, I think you'll see that in the next game."


Ex-England goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis on BBC Radio 5 live

England got the job done. You could tell they hadn't played together for a number of weeks, because they were a little bit too rusty.

But in the second half it was a much more assured, slick performance.

England's mentality, with that determination to grind out a result, reminds me of the Germany of old. They've got that winning mind-set.



Formation 4-3-3

  • 12Sousa Barros Morais
  • 9Marques Borges
  • 4García Rebelo
  • 15da Silva Costa
  • 14Jácome Silva
  • 23Antunes
  • 11Ferreira Pinto
  • 20Lira PiresSubstituted forDa Costaat 80'minutes
  • 18Trindade Coruche MendesSubstituted forOliveira Leiteat 64'minutes
  • 7Pires Neto
  • 16Abreu Sousa SilvaSubstituted forRamos Luísat 87'minutes


  • 1Marreiros
  • 2Amaral Mendes
  • 3Pega Infante
  • 5Veiga Santiago Fidalgo
  • 6Alexandra Norton
  • 8Ramos Luís
  • 10Oliveira Leite
  • 13Figueira Pinto
  • 17Marques
  • 19Da Costa
  • 21Ribeiro Gomes
  • 22Campos Costa


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Chamberlain
  • 22Scott
  • 15Bassett
  • 16BrightSubstituted forNobbsat 60'minutes
  • 20Greenwood
  • 10WilliamsBooked at 5mins
  • 6Potter
  • 14Carney
  • 19DugganSubstituted forStokesat 81'minutes
  • 8ChristiansenBooked at 27mins
  • 17Parris


  • 1Bardsley
  • 2Bronze
  • 3Stokes
  • 4Scott
  • 5Houghton
  • 7Nobbs
  • 9Taylor
  • 11Moore
  • 12Stoney
  • 18White
  • 21Telford
  • 23Kirby
Kateryna Monzul

Match Stats

Home TeamPortugalAway TeamEngland
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Portugal Women 1, England 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Portugal Women 1, England 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Laura Luís (Portugal Women) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Dolores Silva with a cross.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Alex Scott (England).

  5. Post update

    Ana Leite (Portugal Women) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Isobel Christiansen (England) header from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jordan Nobbs.

  7. Post update

    Offside, England. Karen Carney tries a through ball, but Isobel Christiansen is caught offside.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Fara Williams (England).

  9. Post update

    Amanda Da Costa (Portugal Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Hand ball by Cláudia Neto (Portugal Women).

  11. Post update

    Offside, England. Alex Scott tries a through ball, but Nikita Parris is caught offside.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Portugal Women. Laura Luís replaces Diana Silva.

  13. Post update

    Isobel Christiansen (England) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Dolores Silva (Portugal Women).

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, England. Demi Stokes replaces Toni Duggan.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Portugal Women. Amanda Da Costa replaces Suzane Pires.

  17. Post update

    Corner, England. Conceded by Dolores Silva.

  18. Post update

    Karen Carney (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Suzane Pires (Portugal Women).

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Laura Bassett (England) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Alex Greenwood with a cross.

As It Stood




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