England manager Phil Neville admitted that he was full of admiration of Argentina’s style of play after the South Americans went down 1-0 to the Lionesses at Stade Oceane in Le Havre last night.
Jodie Taylor ended her international goal drought with a second half strike to ensure that her side avoided any embarrassment against a feisty Argentine outfit.
England were on the end of some physical treatment throughout the match but manager Neville had no complaints afterwards and paid tribute to his side’s opponents.
When speaking about Argentina’s physical approach in the post-match press conference Neville said “I was expecting it and to be fair it was a typical South American side’s traits where they try to win and upset the opposition at all costs.
“I’ve got to admire that never-say-die attitude and trying everything to try and win the game.”
Whilst England went into the break level with Argentina following Nikita Parris’ missed penalty kick, Neville focussed his half-time team talk on discipline rather than how to unlock the Argentine defence.
He added “We spoke at half-time about keeping our heads and keeping our discipline.
“Jill (Scott) was probably one more tackle away from a yellow card, Jade (Moore) got booked, frustration can sometimes take over so we didn’t want to go into the Japan game with another booking hanging over us.
“We expected it before the game, we knew that for them to compete with us they’d do everything possible but the players kept concentration unbelievably and I was really proud of them tonight.”
England will need one point to win Group D with Wednesday’s opponents Japan being just two points behind the Lionesses in second place.