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England's woman's team hold their nerve to reach the last 16

England 2 - Colombia 1

By Robert Jones

Published 18/06/2015

Spot on: Fara Williams scores England’s second goal against Colombia from the penalty spot
Spot on: Fara Williams scores England’s second goal against Colombia from the penalty spot

England survived a dramatic finale as goals from Karen Carney and Fara Williams ensured victory over Colombia and a place in the last 16 of the Women's World Cup.

A 2-1 win at Montreal's Olympic Stadium was enough to see Mark Sampson's side into the next stage but France's 5-0 win over Mexico ensured it would not be as Group F winners.

Carney got the ball rolling after 15 minutes and Williams doubled the lead with a 38th-minute penalty only for Lady Andrade to raise tension with a skilful chip in stoppage time.

The early moments hinted that England would have a tough time, with a couple of misplaced passes and some silky dribbling from Andrade putting them on the back foot.

It did not last, though, with English intensity soon dictating the tone as Toni Duggan asserted herself up front.

England pulled their opponents out of position with a cleverly worked corner routine but when Casey Stoney arrived to apply the finishing touch she headed over the crossbar.

Another set-piece created the opener, Houghton trying her luck from more than 30 yards and seeing Sandra Sepulveda palm the shot away at the near post. Carney was first to react to the second ball, nutmegging Sepulveda to finish tidily from a tight angle.

England might have had a penalty just two minutes later but Fran Kirby's appeals for a handball were in vain.

Colombia only stirred intermittently, Andrade's neat footwork helping her escape a two-on-one situation on the left before she dragged wide from 20 yards.

Having had one compelling penalty appeal rejected, England were fortunate to win one in the 36th minute.

A mis-kicked free-kick from Houghton led to a goalmouth scramble, during which Duggan saw a shot canon off defender Arias' arm.

Williams was trusted with the spot-kick and buried it coolly.

The scoreline lasted until half-time, though only after Bardsley smothered a late chance for Arias.

The Lionesses were lively immediately after the break but Colombia were stung into a response, Yoreli Rincon desperately close to floating a brilliant, floating long-ranger into the top corner.

Sampson added fresh legs in the shape of Lianne Sanderson and Jo Potter but the English performance was becoming scrappier.

Bardsley made a commanding punch in the 72nd minute when Diana Ospina made it to the byline and flashed a ball into the six-yard box.

In the closing moments, the game swung back towards England, Jodie Taylor racing towards goal only to be tripped by Sepulveda, who was lucky not to be dismissed.

That left the goalkeeper in place to make a fine reaction save from Sanderson in the 87th minute.

Andrade finished deftly over Bardsley deep in added time but there was scarcely enough time to restart.

Belfast Telegraph

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