Naz and Skeels score as England Women’s U-23s beat Portugal

International Friendly - England v Portugal - Joie Stadium
Substitute Jessica Naz opened the scoring for England WU23s against Portugal. (James Whitehead / SPP)

England Women’s U-23s defeated Portugal 2-0 in front of 1,449 fans at Manchester City’s Joie Stadium on Monday night.

Portugal headed wide just four minutes in, before England went on to create a number of first-half chances. Ebony Salmon shot straight at the goalkeeper and Poppy Pattinson hit the post, while Portugal’s Maria Alagoa tried to catch Kayla Rendell off her line and Mafalda Barboz was also thwarted by England’s goalkeeper.

Salmon saw her effort sail just over, Missy Bo Kearns’ free kick was parried by Carolina Vilao with Laura Blindkilde Brown unable to convert the tricky rebound and Aggie Beever-Jones’ powerful shot was saved.

Two minutes after the restart, Jessica Naz – who had come on just before the interval for the injured Katie Robinson – scored with her first touches of the game, after slotting home following an impressive through ball by Beever-Jones.

International Friendly - England v Portugal - Joie Stadium
Kiera Skeels is congratulated on her goal for England WU23s. (James Whitehead / SPP)

Kiera Skeels had a goal-bound header blocked, before Rendell made a couple of good saves to preserve the lead. Ella Morris had a powerful strike blocked for a corner and Pattinson’s delivery was headed in by Skeels.

The lead might have been further extended but Ruby Mace rattled the crossbar with a 25-yard strike and Beever-Jones sent a bicycle kick just wide, before hitting the woodwork a minute later.

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