Substitute Rinsola Babajide bags brace for England Women’s U-23s

England U-23s two-goal sub Rinsola Babajide
Photo: Stephen Flynn/Sports Press Photo

Rinsola Babajide came off the bench to score twice for England Women’s U-23s during a 3-0 victory over the Netherlands.

The Real Betis forward scored either side of half-time at the Pinatar Arena before some fine work from Katie Robinson resulted in an own-goal late on to round off the victory in Spain.

This was the second of two games against the Dutch, following on from Friday’s 0-0 draw at the same venue.

Head coach Mo Marley made three changes to the starting XI, as Maya Le Tissier, Mayumi Pacheco and Jessica Park made way for Lucy Parker, Taylor Hinds and Emma Harries.

England had the first chance of the game after five minutes when Missy Bo Kearns’ free-kick was met at the far post by a volley from Megan Finnigan, but it was well saved by Lisan Alkemade. The resulting corner was then headed wide by Parker.

Sloppy play in the midfield from the Young Lionesses almost gifted Netherlands an opening goal just before the quarter of an hour mark but captain Ashleigh Weerden’s shot from 12 yards out was too central and it ended up being a routine stop for Sandy MacIver.

Kearns’ delivery from set-pieces was causing the opposition problems and Megan Finnigan was next to force Alkemade into a save from another in-swinging corner.

And it was a delivery from the Liverpool midfielder’s corner which led to the opening goal on 42 minutes when Babajide, who had come on for the injured Emma Harries, directed the ball goalwards with the outside of her boot.

Netherlands almost equalised less than four minutes into the second half when Kirsten van de Westeringh created enough space on the edge of the box to get a dipping shot away and it rattled the crossbar.

The Dutch started the second period the stronger and Grace Fisk had to direct another van de Westeringh low drive over the bar a couple of minutes later.

But England regained their composure and would go 2-0 up on 56 minutes when Melisa Filis passed to Babajide and the forward had a shot from 15 yards out deflected over Alkemade.

MacIver in the England WU23s goal was rarely troubled in the second half and the victory was rounded off in the 86th minute when a cross-field free-kick from Kearns found Katie Robinson on the right flank and the Charlton Athletic forward jinxed past a defender before driving to the byline and seeing her cut-back directed in by Marit Auee for an own-goal.

There was nearly a fourth in the dying moments when Parker headed another Kearns corner onto the crossbar.

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