England Women v Bosnia & Herzegovina – Match Report

IMG_3945

 

By Emily Magee

Substitute Jill Scott’s solitary goal broke the deadlock in the Euro 2017 qualifier at Ashton Gate as Bosnia threatened to spoil England’s homecoming party.

The Manchester City midfielder headed home to seal the win for England, as the Lionesses played their first home match since earning bronze in Canada this summer.

Many expected bags of goals against a side who are ranked a lowly 72nd in the world, but the dismal conditions played a major part in proceedings at Bristol City’s home ground.

England manager Mark Sampson blamed the weather conditions after what was supposed to be a fairly straight forward second qualifier turned into a highly frustrating affair.

“Credit to Bosnia they made it difficult for us, but the conditions were the winner today.The players were desperate to put on a show for the supporters and win the match with style and lots of goals.But the important thing was getting the three points to keep us on track for the Euro finals,” said Sampson.

England found it increasingly difficult to break through the Bosnian defence who had little appetite to attack and for the most part banked 10 players behind the ball, with lone striker Alisa Spahic barely venturing past the half-way line.

Sampson’s team played the majority of the first 45 minutes camped in the opposition’s half, and came close on numerous occasions. The first opportunity fell to Jordan Nobbs in the 10th minute.

The Arsenal midfielder, who scored two goals in the 2015 Continental Cup Final, saw her 20-yard drive pushed on to the cross-bar by goalkeeper Almina Hodzic. Izzy Christiansen was denied as she attempted to head home the rebound from close range.

Chelsea striker Eni Aluko then wasted a handful of chances to put the home side in front, squewing her shot just wide of Hodzic’s post from a Christiansen cross and then looping her header over the bar from the Manchester City midfielder’s corner.

The Lionesses went all-out attack to push for a winner in the second half and the Bosnian goalkeeper made a string of fine saves to deny England.

Hodzic stopped numerous long-range efforts from Nobbs and palmed an in-swinging Christiansen free-kick over the bar, after she was brought down just outside the area.

England finally found the break the 13,040 strong partisan crowd had been waiting for. Demi Stokes, who played in a wide attacking role against Germany, fed Aluko into the channel who crossed from the left for Scott to nod past the unfortunate Bosnian keeper.

The Sunderland born midfielder was celebrated before kick-off at Ashton Gate, alongside Fara Williams and Casey Stoney.

The centurions received special Uefa caps, which have just been introduced, for passing 100 appearances.

This result leaves England third in group 7, with six points from two matches ,after the Lionesses beat Estonia 8-0 in September. Their next qualifier will be against Belgium in April.

Leave a Comment