A last-minute goal by Toni Duggan earned England a draw against Russia and kept their Euro 2013 dreams alive. The game ended 1-1 after Duggan’s injury-time strike.
The Lionesses started brightly, with midfielder Jill Scott rattling the post after just eight minutes.
England were dominant early on and posed a serious attacking threat to the Russians, although this was halted when influential forward Rachel Yankey was forced off with injury which dried up the English attack.
It was Russia, the lowest ranked team in the competition, who managed to find the net first. Striker Nelli Korovkina made the most of feeble defending to open the scoring on 38 minutes. England’s hopes of progressing in the tournament were hanging by a thread, with no reply coming before half-time.
After the break England upped their game with captain Alex Scott, making her 100th appearance, spurring the side on. Although, even she was fortunate not to concede a penalty, as Ekaterina Sochneva went toppling to the ground after her last-ditch challenge. Luckily for her, the referee saw nothing wrong.
With the game nearly up and England’s time in the competition almost over, manager Hope Powell was forced to bring on Kelly Smith, who played no part against Spain because of injury and started on the bench tonight. Even her experience wasn’t enough to rescue the win for England.
The Lionesses came within centimetres of equalising near the end, when Duggan hit the bar after latching onto Ellen White’s cross. Two minutes after this, Duggan was not to be denied as she fired home from close range, bringing the game level at 1-1.
England have to beat France on Thursday or will drop out from the competition. The odds don't look good for Powell's side either - they have never beaten France in a competitive fixture, but will this be the first time?
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