England 0-2 USA
Under-19 friendly international
Tony Leighton reports from St. George’s Park
England’s last friendly outing before August’s European Under-19 Championship finals ended in a second defeat in quick succession at St George’s Park by the USA, who won Wednesday’s opening encounter 2-1.
First half goals by midfielder Taylor Kornieck and striker Civana Kuhlmann set the Americans up for victory, but either side of those strikes England went close to putting themselves on the scoresheet.
England head coach Mo Marley, said: “We made a slow start to Wednesday’s game, but we started much better today. We struggled a bit after that, but then we grew back into the game against a very strong team.
“Tiny errors in both games made a difference to the outcome, but after changing our shape in the second half of today’s game we got a bit more momentum – just not quite enough to get a goal.”
Marley’s team had the better of the early goal attempts as midfielder Chloe Peplow, left winger Niamh Charles and right winger Alessia Russo were all denied by goalkeeper Brooke Heinsohn.
England keeper Ellie Roebuck then distinguished herself with a superb flying save from a 33rd minute penalty by Kuhlmann. But two minutes later the visitors went in front through Korniek’s 15-yard shot.
The USA’s lead was doubled five minutes before the interval, Kuhlmann making up for her penalty miss with a low cross-shot that crept under the diving body of Roebuck and just inside the far post.
England had been on the back foot for much of the first half, but they pushed forward after the break and went close when substitute Georgia Stanway’s 55th minute effort was pushed past the post by the diving Heinsohn.
Continuing to press, Marley’s team had the better of the second half and in the closing stages Stanway was unlucky not to reduce the arrears with a 25-yard rive that dipped just over the crossbar.
England gained a modicum of revenge in a post-match penalty shoot-out, Roebuck saving Brianna Pinto’s spot-kick in a 5-4 win in an encouraging sign should they have to face a shoot-out in the Euro finals.
Marley added: “Both of these games summarised where we are – we’re not quite sharp enough all over the pitch. But we’ve got five weeks until the Euro finals, and we’ll definitely be ready come the start of the tournament.”
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