Chelsea Women internationals: Bright captains England, Reiten and Ingle among the goals

Many of our Blues are back in international action for the last time this year and here we give you an update of all the action from the first raft of fixtures.


Thursday

The action kicked off in Gothenburg with Blues captain Magdalena Eriksson up for Sweden against Finland in front of a crowd of over 13,000. Jonna Andersson also started for the Swedish side with Zecira Musovic on the bench. Sweden took charge of the game early on with Fridolina Rolfo scoring 11 minutes in. 

Finland bounced back with Linda Sallstrom finding space between the home team’s defence to net the equaliser, but the hosts fought back strong and left it until just under the 80th minute to find the winning goal from Lina Hurtig to take them to the top of their World Cup qualifying group.

The second World Cup qualifier of the night came in the form of Albania against Norway with Guro Reiten up for the Norwegians and Maren Mjelde starting on the bench. Norway led from the get-go and fired home seven goals, with Reiten getting on the scoresheet in the second half. Norway top Group F as they head into their final international of the year next week.

Friday

Ann-Katrin Berger and Melanie Leupolz both started on the bench for hosts Germany against Turkey. Leupolz came on at half-time as part of a treble substitution switch for the winning team which resulted in a huge 8-0 scoreline, with Germany’s Lea Schuller taking a hat-trick.

Sophie Ingle captained Wales once more as the Welsh team took on Greece in front of the home fans in Llanelli. Ingle kicked things off in style in the seventh minute with her side applying the pressure from early on, firing home a pass from Jess Fishlock. A defensive mistake led to the second for Wales from Kayleigh Green in the 17th minute with Ceri Holland scoring either side of the break and Natasha Harding sealing the 5-0 victory in the 64th minute. Wales are now second in their group table behind France, who they face next week.

Erin Cuthbert started for Scotland as they took on Ukraine at Hampden Park. Ukraine started strong from the start and a defensive mistake from Scotland saw them take the lead with Roksolana Kravchuk finding the net for the visitors. Scotland were able to counter and had a couple of strong attempts on target but were not able to level in the first half. 

It took the home side until stoppage time to salvage an equaliser from Abi Harrison, with the match ending 1-1. Scotland trail group leaders Spain as they head into the toughest test of their campaign when they will come face-to-face with them on Tuesday.

Saturday

The action started in the early hours on Saturday for Sam Kerr as the Matildas faced the United States for a friendly. USA had not played in Australia for 21 years and were greeted with a record audience at Stadium Australia with 36,109 fans in attendance. The visitors set the tone, scoring within 30 seconds with Ashley Hatch netting her first international goal when the home team’s defence failed to clear the ball from the opening play, with Hatch going one-one-one against the goalkeeper. Australia countered and dominated for much of the first half with a couple of strong shots from Kerr but the second half kicked off well for the visitors, with Rose Lavelle scoring four minutes in and captain Lindsey Horan able to take a winning penalty in the 68th minute to give the young travelling team the win.

Blues' Ji So-Yun was also up for South Korea for a friendly with New Zealand which took place in Goyang. South Korea went behind in the 25th minute with the visitors' Jacqi Handi heading home the cross. The home side were able to level the score in the second half when Choe Yu-Ri’s shot deflected off the away defender. Midfielder Cho So-Hyun then gifted a stunning cross to Lim, who was able to head it home into the back of the net in the 80th minute to give South Korea the win. The two teams will face each other once more on Tuesday.

Saturday afternoon kicked off with England playing Austria at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light in their Group D World Cup qualifier. Millie Bright and Fran Kirby started for the Lionesses with Bethany England, Jess Carter and Niamh Charles starting on the bench. Captain Bright led out the team in freezing conditions and although the home team were dominant from the start, it took until nearly the 40th minute for them to take the lead with a superb assist from Kirby to Ellen White. Austria applied the pressure in the second half but were not able to find an equaliser. This was England’s fifth consecutive qualifying match victory with no goals conceded in this run.

Saturday finished up in Mexico City with reigning Olympic champions Canada up against Mexico, with Jessie Fleming starting for the visitors. Mexico got the first score on the board with Stephany Mayor calmly converting a penalty and were able to double the lead in the second half when a free-kick ricocheted off the crossbar to Alicia Cervantes, who was able to fire it home. Canada made a valiant comeback and had a raft of attempts, with substitute Jordyn Huitema finally finding the back of the next just before the full-time whistle, but unfortunately it was too little, too late and the match ended 2-1, ending Canada’s five-game winning streak.

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