England did not break new ground on Sunday night, they have played in World and European semi-finals before, but it sure felt like it after a momentous victory over their scourge of recent years. After having two of their last three tournaments ended in defeat to the French, beating the tournament favourites on the day the holders Germany also went out, will increase expectation that this is England’s time.
According to Watford Ladies coach Keith Boanas, the key to victory on Sunday was the tenacity in midfield of Jill Scott, suspended for the semi-final, and Jade Moore, up against the superb Amandine Henry who was chosen as player of the match despite ending up on the defeated side. “They rattled the French, broke up play and took risks which has sadly cost Jill a semi-final place (for a foul on Henry)”.
Scott said “our tactics allowed us to get a little bit higher on their midfield as opposed to the game against Spain. It was a battle between us two, I was kind of determined, that I was going to win that battle”.
Next for the Lionesses are the Oranje Lionesses from the Netherlands in Enschede before a 30,000 sell-out crowd at the largest venue being used at this tournament. For Jordan Nobbs it will bring back memories of when England defeated Canada in Vancouver in front of a partisan 54,027 crowd. “Everyone here who played a part in the Canada performance in the World Cup, playing in the home ground and winning. I think we’re excited, what a great occasion to play a home team in the semi-final”.
In their last meeting in November in Tilburg, England won 1-0, with a late goal from the seemingly unstoppable Jodie Taylor. Her inevitable Adidas Golden Boot as leading goalscorer in the Euros will be the least of the accolades pouring the way towards this most deserving of people.
According to Nobbs “Jodie’s been on fire, she just needs that ball to get that goal. We’re hopefully feeding her, and there’s more to come I hope.” France’s Camille Abily, who’s 16-year international career was ended with defeat in Deventer was also full of praise. “She’s amazing, she’s amazing because she scored a lot of goals. She had one opportunity and she scored, so congratulations”.
Jill Scott revealed, “I just hugged her for about five minutes, I’m over the moon for her, as well as her being a fantastic player, she’s a fantastic person as well. Anything she touches at the minute, she scores. She needs to put the lottery on or something”.
International Women's Competitions