#FIFAWWC : Lionesses win in Wales to seal qualification

England’s Toni Duggan celebrates scoring the first goal. (Photo: PA Images)

England scored three times in thirteen second-half minutes to beat Wales 3-0 and reach the 2019 France FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals.

Steph Houghton recovered to block a shot at the expense of an early corner having given the ball away but Rhiannon Roberts header from the flag kick was comfortably wide.

Nikita Parris had the ball in the net inside 6 minutes but was deemed offside from Alex Greenwood’s effort that came back off the crossbar.

Angharad James struck a 25-yard effort well but Karen Bardsley caught it high inside the post.

Jordan Nobbs fired wide when a corner ball eventually came her way outside the box and Jill Scott nutmegged her marker on the bye-line before Hayley Ladd intercepted the pass.

Natasha Harding went down in the box when Bardsley raced out to challenge her and just get a hand on the ball.

Laura O’Sullivan then had a fright with defenders getting in her way but Jodie Taylor could not get onto the loose ball.

Parris won a free kick on the side of the box but Toni Duggan’s delivery was gathered by the goalkeeper and the game was goalless at the break, despite a couple of scares at either end.

England won a free kick at the start of the second half, O’Sullivan came for the ball and missed but it also bypassed everyone else.

Toni Duggan broke the deadlock on 56 minutes with a good finish, Kirby passing the ball wide to her after a cross by Nobbs was battled for by Taylor.

Moments later and a Houghton free kick was turned round the post by O’Sullivan, the corner finally coming to Scott who looped a header home to double the lead.

England’s Jill Scott scores her side’s second goal of the game during the FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying, group 1 match at Rodney Parade, Newport. (Photo: PA Images)

Helen Ward volleyed a sharp chance over the visitors bar straight afterwards, Houghton’s shot on the turn was then well taken by O’Sullivan.

It was game over on 69 minutes via another set-piece, after the effort was parried Taylor knocked the ball into the goalmouth and Parris finished with a brave header.

England did lose Kirby to injury in the dying minutes, when she was caught while turning in the penalty area.

Wales: Laura O’Sullivan, Loren Dykes, Sophie Ingle (C), Rhiannon Roberts, Natasha Harding (Ffion Morgan, 89), Angharad James, Kayleigh Green, Jess Fishlock, Hayley Ladd, Kyle Nolan (Elise Hughes, 59), Helen Ward (Peyton Vincze, 71)

Unused Subs: Claire Skinner, Gemma Evans, Alice Griffiths, Nadia Lawrence

England: Karen Bardsley, Lucy Bronze, Alex Greenwood, Jordan Nobbs, Steph Houghton (C), Millie Bright, Nikita Parris, Jill Scott (Keira Walsh, 83), Jodie Taylor (Izzy Christiansen, 77), Fran Kirby (Rachel Daly, 86), Toni Duggan

Unused Subs: Abbie McManus, Carly Telford, Beth Mead, Melissa Lawley

Attendance: 5,053

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