Ellen White Brace Defeats Danes

It was Ellen White’s night in Copenhagen as the stand-in captain scored both goals to help England defeat Denmark 2-1 in their final match before Euro 2017.

The 28-year-old led her country for the first time and marked her big day with a match-winning brace.

She put Mark Sampson’s side ahead on the stroke of half-time by guiding home a Demi Stokes cross.

Denmark skipper Pernille Harder levelled in the second half with a top-drawer free-kick but White won the game just minutes later, tapping home from close range.

The result is a timely boost for the Lionesses, coming less than three weeks before their Euro finals opener against Scotland. It was also their third successive win against fellow Euro finalists, following victories over Austria and Switzerland.

There were 10 changes to the side that beat the Swiss last time out, with only left-back Stokes retaining her place. Alex Greenwood was rested as a precautionary measure, having just returned from a long-term injury, and Fran Kirby missed out with tonsillitis.

The two sides conjured up a lively opening period at Gladsaxe Stadium, though neither keeper was truly tested, setting the tone for a rather frantic first half.

Denmark, ranked 15th in the world, had the ball in the net on 23 minutes when Manchester City’s new signing, Mie Leth Jans, bundled home from a corner but referee Sara Persson had already sounded her whistle for a push in the box.

The defender saved her side at the other end just a few moments later when Nikita Parris pounced on a loose clearance, but Jans got back well to block the angled shot inside the box.

Simone Boye Sorensen should have given the hosts the lead 10 minutes before the break but she headed Harder’s corner wide when unmarked at the back post.

Stine Larsen had an opportunity, too, when Denmark tails were up, but she could only fire over the bar under pressure from Alex Scott and Casey Stoney.

But, despite having been temporarily on the back foot, the visitors broke the deadlock a minute before the interval.

Fara Williams played Stokes into space with an exquisite long-range pass, Stokes found the on-rushing White and the skipper lifted the ball over goalkeeper Stina Lykke from 18 yards to put England in front.

However, Nils Nielsen’s side could have equalised right on the whistle when Larsen directed yet another Harder corner goalwards, but Stoney kept the lead in tact by clearing off the line.

There was a slower start to the second half than the first, the flow of the game somewhat disrupted by three Denmark substitutions.

And, having served notice of her ability to deliver a set piece courtesy of her raft of first-half corners, it was perhaps no surprise that Harder should level matters from a dead ball situation.

Williams felled Katrine Veje just outside the England box – and Harder punished the misdemeanour by curling into Siobhan Chamberlain’s top right-hand corner. Chamberlain got a hand to it, but was unable to keep it out.

The sides weren’t level for long, however, as White forced Sorensen into a mistake on the edge of her own box.

The centre-back tried to make amends by passing back to the keeper, but the ball hit the crossbar and White coolly despatched the rebound for the winner – and her sixth goal in her last eight internationals.

England fly to Valencia on Sunday morning for a week of warm weather training. The players will then have three days off before they meet up again and fly to Holland for the Euros.

The Lionesses open up against Scotland on Wednesday 19 July before taking on Spain on 23 July and Portugal four days later.

Denmark: 1 Stina Lykke, 2 Line Roddik Hansen, 5 Simone Boye Sorensen, 10 Pernille Harder (C), 11 Katrine Veje, 12 Stine Larsen, 13 Sofie Junge Pedersen, 15 Frederikke Thorgersen, 17 Line Sigvardsen Jensen, 18 Mie Leth Jans, 23 Luna Gevitz.

Substitutions: 4 Maja Kildemoes for Pedersen 46, 7 Sanne Troelsgaard for Thorgersen 46, 14 Nicoline Sorensen for Larsen 64, 3 Janni Arnth Jensen for Gevitz 84.

Substitutes not used: 16 Maria Christiansen (GK) 19 Cecilie Sandvej, 20 Stine Ballisager Pedersen, 21 Sarah Dyrehauge, 22 Line Johansen (GK).

England (4-4-2): 1 Siobhan Chamberlain (Liverpool); 2 Alex Scott (Arsenal), 5 Laura Bassett (Unattached), 6 Casey Stoney (Liverpool), 3 Demi Stokes (Manchester City); 11 Isobel Christiansen (Manchester City), 4 Fara Williams (Arsenal), 8 Jo Potter (Reading), 7 Karen Carney (Chelsea); 9 Nikita Parris (Manchester City), 10 Ellen White (capt; Birmingham City).

Substitutions: 13 Carly Telford (Chelsea) for Chamberlain 76, 22 Jodie Taylor (Arsenal) for Parris 76, 15 Millie Bright (Chelsea) for Christiansen 76, 18 Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal) for Carney 84, 12 Lucy Bronze (Manchester City) for Williams 88.

Substitutes not used: 14 Steph Houghton (Manchester City), 16 Jade Moore (Reading), 17 Jill Scott (Manchester City), 19 Toni Duggan (Manchester City), 21 Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), 23 Mary Earps (Reading).

Source / Photos – TheFA.com