Blues forward Bethany England scored her first goal for the Lionesses against Brazil and Magdalena Eriksson was on target for Sweden, while Maria Thorisdottir and Guro Reiten netted in their EURO qualifier matches on Friday evening.
Ji So-Yun scored for South Korea against World Cup-winners the United States on Sunday (pictured top) to spoil the perfect send-off for US coach Jill Ellis in what was her final match in charge.In front of a crowd of over 30,000 in Chicago, Ji opened the scoring with a shot from the edge of the area in the first half. Despite the Americans equalising soon after and the South Koreans losing a player to a red card, they survived plenty of pressure and two efforts against the woodwork to draw 1-1. It ended a 17-game run of wins for their opponents.
Bethany England featured in the closing stages of the Lionesses’ friendly against Brazil when she came on in replacement of Reign FC’s Jodie Taylor. The Chelsea player, who has been in fine form domestically having been named last season’s top goal scorer, instantly impacted the game when she pulled a goal back for Phil Neville’s side who were trailing by two goals. England’s skipper Steph Houghton sent a glorious ball into England who steered her headed effort into the top corner of the net to register her first senior Lionesses goal with 10 minutes left on the clock.
England hosted the Samba stars at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium in front of a bumper crowd, yet despite the fantastic support, the winless run has now extended to five. The Lionesses were made to pay when they failed to take their chances in the first half as Brazil soon punished them with two second half finishes by striker Debinha Miri.
Carly Telford was the only other Chelsea player who was part of the Lionesses squad on this occasion but was an an unused substitute as Neville opted for Manchester United’s Mary Earps in goal. Fran Kirby and Millie Bright had withdrawn and returned to Cobham in the build-up to the game.
England travel to Setubal to play Portugal in a friendly on Tuesday which kicks off at 7pm.
There were six Chelsea Women players in action for their respective countries yesterday. Blues captain Magdalena Eriksson and Jonna Andersson were part of Sweden’s comfortable 5-0 win over Hungary. Eriksson returned to her favoured centre-back position with Andersson stationed at left-back. It was Eriksson who got the bronze medalists underway when she headed home from close range. Real Madrid’s Kosovare Asllani whipped in a deep free-kick into a busy box and the defender rose above her marker to head powerfully past the goalkeeper. The Scandinavians welcome Slovakia to Gothenburg on Tuesday for their third Group F match.
There was success for our Norwegian trio Maren Mjelde, Thorisdottir and Reiten who were part of Norway’s impressive 7-1 triumph away to Belarus. Thorisdottir scored the third goal of the evening on the stroke of half-time when Isabell Herlovsen knocked a ball into the centre-back to slot past the goalkeeper with ease. Reiten, who has been nominated for September’s Barclays Women’s Super League Player of the Month award, followed with the fourth on the hour mark and finished cleverly with a back-heeled effort. Next for Norway is a journey to the Faroe Islands where they will aim to make it three consecutive victories in Group C.
Ramona Bachmann skippered Switzerland to a convincing 3-0 victory against Lithuania in their second group match yesterday. It was another important win for Bachmann and her Swiss side as they will be eager to make amends after narrowly missing out on a spot to compete at the 2019 World Cup. They face Croatia on home soil on Tuesday in their third Group H fixture.
South Korea and Ji So-Yun travelled to take on the USA in two friendly matches for the World Champions’ Victory Tour and the first match took place on Thursday which resulted in a 2-0 defeat. The final game will take place tomorrow which will also be the last match for the USA’s head coach Jill Ellis, who will be stepping down after an extremely successful run at the helm of the world No.1s.
Our international players return to Kingsmeadow on Sunday 13 October to face the Women’s Super League champions Arsenal. Tickets are priced at £9 for adults and £1 for juniors (aged under 20) and seniors (aged over 65.)