In what could turn out to be a crucial game for Neville’s reign as England manager, the Lionesses travelled the Czech Republic to face a team who have lost just one in their last seven.
On the contrary, England has only won once in their last seven games – the latest of which was a defeat to Germany in front of over 77,000 people at Wembley Stadium last Saturday.
From off England looked rocky at the back struggling to defend crosses, allowing the Czech Republic to attack.
The breakthrough came just fifteen minutes into the game with a wonderfully weighted ball cutting through the defence from Statskova to find. The 21-year-old showed a tremendous amount of composure to bring the ball under control and finish beyond Telford.
But their lead lasted a mere two minutes following England’s first dangerous attack of the game.
Two in four
Parris looked to take a heavy touch at first but managed to keep the ball in and lift it over the defender where Bethany England was waiting, show great instinct to finish the ball and bring England level.
It was just another two minutes between goals, this time it was England who found themselves ahead thanks to a curling effort from Beth Mead to see the ball fly into the back of the net.
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The perfect response for England after a shaky start and an ideal platform to go on and give a convincing performance.
But that didn’t even last 10 minutes.
And it was some goal to get the Czech Republic back on level terms. Szewieczkova once again at the heart of their attack but this time it was a long-range effort that looped over Telford and into the back of the net.
The game was lacklustre at the best of times and the second half was living proof of that. For the most part, England dominated and in the final half, an hour Czech Republic seemed to struggle to get out of their own half.
A disallowed goal and a penalty shout looked to be the most entertaining points of the latter 45 minutes, until the 85th minute.
England’s immense amount of pressure finally paid off in the form of Leah Williamson – the ball fell to her on the edge of the box and she was allowed time to set herself for a shot on goal. Albeit scruffy, her effort rolled beyond the keeper and gave England their second win in eight games.
The Lionesses end their 2019 on a win but the questions over Neville’s ability to manage this side remain and will trickle into the new year where their first test will come at the SheBelieves Cup in late February/early March.News Now - Sport News