England Women’s team struggled and conceded their second defeat under Phil Neville’s, who has been in charge of the national side for almost 12 months, as two first-half goals gave victory to Sweden, in a game in which Steph Houghton (Manchester City) won her 100th cap with the Lionesses.
Sofia Jakobsson and Anna Angevard made the only two goals for the Swedish side in Rotherham, condemning England completely to their first loss on home soil since the 1-0 defeat to the USA in Milton Keynes three years ago.
England’s coach had made a lot of changes in comparison to the 3-0 win over Austria in Vienna last Thursday, with Houghton being England’s captain. Alongside her, Neville decided to put Manchester City team-mates Jill Scott and Nikita Parris on the starting line-up.
Unfortunately, England’s porous defence was punished for a good and calm first-half display, with Jakobsson drifting infield the whole defence and finally beating Carly Telford, the England goalkeeper. A that wasn’t the end for the Lionesses’ nightmare. Things went from bad to worse before the half-time, when Angevard doubled the visitors’ lead, swivelling before smashing home from Jakobsson’s clever cross.
Neville tried to make tactical changes to help the team do the comeback, introducing Toni Duggan at the interval of the match. However, England still struggled to truly trouble the goal of Hedwig Lindahl, the Chelsea goalkeeper. The final score was already decided, and now, England is probably thinking on how to improve for their next encounter against the Swedish side. We’ll need to wait and see.