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England Women’s Georgia Stanway scores on debut in win against Austria | Football


Phil Neville’s mission to intensify competition for places in his England squad for next summer’s World Cup in France appears to be proceeding to plan.

Two immensely encouraging debuts by Manchester City’s Georgia Stanway and Brisbane Roar’s Chioma Ubogagu saw the newcomers register a goal apiece as the Lionesses showed off their strength in depth.

With his captain Steph Houghton (who will receive her 100th cap in another friendly, against Sweden in Rotherham, on Sunday) among the familiar names rested, Neville named a distinctly experimental side for this match against one of Europe’s lesser lights.

Ubogagu, a striker on loan at Brisbane Roar from Orlando Pride, swiftly demonstrated why England, the United States and Nigeria have coveted her services. The London-born, Texas reared, 26-year-old showed few signs of jet lag following her long flight from Australia when she gave England a 26th-minute lead in Vienna.

If that composed side-foot finish into the bottom corner showed Ubogagu’s precision with the ball at her feet, her goal was created by a combination of Karen Carney and Toni Duggan. After a drop of the shoulder and fine pass on Carney’s part, Duggan, England’s captain for the night, forced an Austria defender into a concession of possession which permitted Ubogagu to assume centre stage. Neville has been keen to add left- footers to his squad but he will doubtless have been pleased to note the new girl scored with a swipe of her supposedly less-favoured right boot.

England’s manager must also have been quietly satisfied to note his temporary skipper’s role. After all it is not so long since the words Duggan and England captain would have seemed incompatible. There was a time when Mark Sampson, Neville’s predecessor, dropped Duggan after questioning her application and attitude. Although she responded by working her way back into the team, a move from Manchester City to Barcelona has been the making of her, earning the forward heightened respect among teammates.

If Duggan convinced in a once-un-envisaged leadership role, Ubogagu impressed in attack – if not quite as much as the excellent Stanway, who displayed extraordinary poise for a 19-year-old.

By the time the City forward scored, Neville had liberated Nikita Parris from a bench that included Jordan Nobbs and Jill Scott. Come next summer, that trio will surely take some shifting from the first XI and Parris wasted no time in reminding everyone of her ability by hitting the post with a header before creating the second goal.

Arriving at the end of a pleasing passing move of the sort Neville hopes to make this team’s trademark, it involved Stanway lifting her shot over the goalkeeper.

Not to be upstaged, Houston Dash’s Rachel Daly – on for Ubogagu – flicked Stanway’s attempted shot goalwards. The ball appeared to take a couple of deflections en route to the back of the net but Daly claimed it as England coasted.



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Written by sortiwa

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