Bethany England got her first start for the Lionesses in a 1-0 triumph against Portugal and Chelsea representatives from Sweden, Norway and Switzerland all victorious in UEFA EURO 2021 qualifying matches…
England was the only Chelsea player to feature in England's friendly which finished 1-0 against Portugal and she played 65 minutes before making way for Jodie Taylor of Reign FC. The forward earned her first Lionesses start this evening after her impressive performance against Brazil on Saturday when she came on as a substitute in the closing stages of the match to score England's only goal.
Goalkeeper Carly Telford remained as an unused substitute as England manager Phil Neville opted for young Ellie Roebuck of Manchester City and a former Chelsea winger, Anna Borges, was on the pitch for Portugal.
It was a frustrating first half for the Lionesses having gone into the break goalless. England worked hard up front and was the Lionesses’ main threat with her energy. The Chelsea forward went close to opening the scoring after quarter of an hour when Arsenal’s Beth Mead fizzed a low ball across the face of the goal only for a sliding England to marginally miss.
Other opportunities came for the Chelsea forward. Firstly Mead raced ahead into the box, fired across goal but the stretching England could not quite get a touch to it and then Mead again looked to carve out the opening. She drove to the byline before delivering a cross to the back post, but just beyond England and Lyon's Nikita Parris.
The Lionesses capitalised on a Portugal error which was a huge relief for Neville and his side who ended a winless run. Greenwood floated in a cross that drifted towards goalkeeper Patricia Morais and the No.1 failed to catch the ball just above her head and it slipped through her fingers. Mead was lurking and finished from close range with a simple tap-in.
The Blues’ Norwegian trio Maren Mjelde, Maria Thorisdottir (pictured below) and Guro Reiten thumped the Faroe Islands 13-0 in their third qualifying Group C match this evening. The ruthless win means Norway have scored 26 goals in three games and sit top of their table with Sophie Ingle’s Wales sat in second place. Ingle did not play in today's win in Belarus due to injury.
Mjelde skippered her country with Thorisdottir as her centre-back partner and Reiten played on left flank before making way on 60 minutes. The Chelsea defenders managed to keep a clean sheet as the Faroe Islands failed to have one shot on target for the whole 90 minutes.
Mjelde almost scored on the stroke of half-time when the defender hit the woodwork from Barcelona’s Caroline Graham Hansen’s corner. However, Mjelde managed to assist the ninth goal when she spotted and delivered to substitute Frida Maanum who replaced Reiten for the remaining half-hour. Thorisdottir went close in the second half when she unleashed a powerful shot from 18 yards out which struck the post.
Sweden also recorded a strong 7-0 victory tonight. Chelsea’s captain Magdalena Eriksson and Jonna Andersson started in the backline and former Blue, Hedvig Lindahl, was in goal. Eriksson assisted the third goal which was scored by the Scandinavian captain Linda Sembrant.
Switzerland and Ramona Bachmann produced a convincing 2-0 qualifier win against Croatia which means they are currently top Group H table with three consecutive victories. Portland Thorn’s Ana-Maria Crnogorčević and Geraldine Reutler of FFC Frankfurt were the Swiss goalscorers.
You can watch the Blues’ international stars on Sunday at Kingsmeadow when we host the reigning Women’s Super League champions Arsenal in a mouth-watering London derby.
Tickets are still available to purchase for the 3pm kick-off and are priced at £9 for an adult, £1 for juniors (aged under 20) and seniors (aged over 65).