Stade Oceane, Le Havre - Image provided by FIFA Official Media Channel. Editorial use only.

England show mental toughness to see off spirited Argentina in Le Havre

Jodie Taylor’s 14-month international goal drought has come to an end as she netted the winner for England in a 1-0 victory over Argentina at the Stade Oceane in Le Havre this evening.

Argentina were always going to provide some tough opposition for the Lionesses after their spirited goalless draw with Japan in Paris on Monday but Phil Neville’s side held their nerve to see off their opponents despite Nikita Parris having a first half penalty kick brilliantly saved.

England went at Argentina from the off and Lucy Bronze sent an early diving header wide of the near post before Jill Scott headed straight at opposition keeper Vanina Correa. Fran Kirby then headed a dangerous ball across the box but her delivery was put behind by an Argentine defender for a corner kick.

The Lionesses had a perfect opportunity to open the scoring just before the half-hour when Alex Greenwood was hauled down by Ruth Bravo in the area. Parris stepped up to take the penalty kick but her effort was superbly kept out by Correa who made the save at full-stretch.

Correa was proving to be on top form with the Argentine stopper also denying Beth Mead with her feet when one-on-one as the first half ended goalless.

After being denied from the penalty spot, Parris looked certain to score early in the second half when she drilled in an effort on goal but Correa again showed her class with a stunning block. Fellow forward Taylor also had a chance to end her England goal drought but headed straight at the keeper when losing her marker in the box.

It was soon to get better for Taylor with the player netting the opening goal of the match. Mead put in a wonderful low cross and the 2017 UEFA Women’s European Championship Golden Boot winner tapped the ball beyond Correa into the back of the net.

Scott then failed to hit the target with two headers as England searched for a second goal before some late substitutions disrupted the flow of the final few minutes as the Lionesses held on comfortably to their one-goal lead.

The result means that England have qualified for the last-16 with a game to spare, that match being against Japan in Nice on Wednesday evening.

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