Well it was a tough choice last night working out if I was going to watch England try claim the top of the group or Scotland try make it to the next round, but naturally I picked to watch the England game and I was I didn't as the Scots let a 3-0 lead slip and a controversial VAR decision left the Argentinian's drawing level to make it 3-3 and sending Scotland home. But Scotland can definitely be proud of themselves as they have shown what they are capable of by scoring and putting up a fight in all 3 games. But onto the England game...

Phil did his usual, making plenty of changes. Stokes came in to replace Greenwood, Duggan was fit enough to start, Bardsley took her place in goal once again and Bright came back into the team but most importantly for me Daly finally got a start. It was nice to see he had put Daly upfront for the game as I honestly believe this is currently the best position for her and her pace really benefits the team from there as she can power on into the box but also get back quickly if needed to help defend.

Duggan for me shouldn't have been starting, she is just coming back from an injury so why not gradually work her back into the game? Like bringing her on as a sub later on in the game. To me she looked off her game 90% of the time but she did have a good attempt that the keeper eventually saved. She was finally taken off in the 82nd minute but honestly Parris should have been on from the start and Duggan should have come on for her instead. She just didn't look as much of a threat as she could have been.

I was really surprised by how well Scott and Daly linked up throughout the game too and I can honestly say I would love to see this pairing a lot more in the future as they really helped England get into some dangerous attacking positions as well as getting them out of their own half by the linking up.

Japan were the first ones with a real chance for me with an absolutely brilliant free kick which ended with an even better save from Bardsley to deny them, she really made herself big and stopped the ball going straight into the top corner. That to me just shows the nets don't need making smaller for the women, especially with keepers as skilled as Bardsley. Japan definitely looked threatening at times through the game especially when on the counter attack with some great give and go play but they just couldn't finish off any of their chances luckily for England. They didn't look anywhere near as good as they have in previous years to me but I suppose that did benefit England in the long run.

It was Ellen White who managed to get the first goal of the game, Stanway who brilliantly turned away from her defender played a brilliant pass through to White who calmly hit the ball home. Stanway really surprised me whilst she was on the pitch she just looked so confident playing some brilliant balls, defending well and taking shots when the opportunities came, not bad for a youngster I can see big things happening for her in the future if she keeps this play up.

In the first half I was really impressed once again with England's movement it was great once again but then when it came to the second half it just seemed like a switch had flipped and they didn't look as good as in the first 45. We didn't seem to be closing down half as much as we had in previous games and our passes were heavy at times. Some passes were really sloppy with us losing possession but some how we kept some how improving for a few minutes after each passage of poor play. Daly was undoubtedly the best player in the first half but we just couldn't get her involved in the second half. 

For me Daly is definitely one of the most underrated players around at the moment, her work rate is amazing constantly tracking back getting stuck in for tackles and winning the ball back for the team. Plus her ability to charge at the defence really helps on the attacking front. She can also play in a good ball when putting a cross crating plenty of chances for others. Her pace also sets her apart from the rest as she can get all over the pitch in a short space of time which was great when Japan came on the counter attack.

Scott also had yet another great game and just kept up her current form which you really can't fault at the moment. Houghton really stood out for me in parts of the game too as she really put her body on the line to stop some chances for Japan. She looked a lot more confident than in the previous games. The best bit though is how perfectly timed her challenges were. There was no recklessly flying in like you see from some players and she never left her team in a dangerous position from her challenges.

England's second and final goal came from White once again who has now taken her tournament tally to 3. It all started with a nice ball from Scott to Carney who then played a brilliantly weighted pass through to White who very calmly put the ball into the back of the net, once again it was another clinical finish from White who is really growing on me this tournament.

As for the woman of the match as much as I want to give it to Jill once again I would honestly have to give it to Daly or White, Daly's work rate and movement was just fantastic and overall her performance was absolutely brilliant. White also had a brilliant game putting herself in some fantastic positions and bagging herself the 2 goals to help us top the group.

Overall even though we won the game I think there a few things we still need to work on, that backline definitely needs to be a whole lot stronger if we want to progress in the tournament and we need to stay consistent, no dropping off in the second because with us only getting 1 or 2 goals a game we really can't afford to switch off as we are likely to concede stupid goals that will eventually end up with us out of the tournament.

See you soon

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