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Arsenal’s Taylor seals England win against Spain

Gunners star takes her tally to four goals in two games with 85th-minute strike, as England win again at Women's Euro 2017 finals

25 July, 2017 — By Catherine Etoe

Group D
UEFA Women’s Euros 2017
ENGLAND 2, SPAIN 0

ENGLAND made it two wins in two games in the European Championships on Sunday night after a 2-0 win over Spain in Breda, with Arsenal’s Jodie Taylor on target with her fourth in two games.

A single goal, scored in the second minute of the match by Chelsea and England’s “mini Messi” Fran Kirby, was all that separated the two sides for 83 minutes in Holland.

Spain dominated possession in the moments between, but Taylor, who had been sent good luck messages from Geoff Hurst and Gary Lineker before the game, made the victory certain in the 85th minute.

After scoring a hat-trick against Scotland in the opening match on Thursday, Taylor joined an elite group alongside Hurst and former Tottenham striker Lineker as the only England players to hit three in one match in a major tournament.

The Arsenal striker was feeding off scraps in this match, which was never likely to be a repeat of the 6-0 drubbing that England gave Euro newbies Scotland.

Spain are ranked 13th in the world and are no strangers to this competition – they were the nation that sent England packing at the group stage in the 2013 edition.

But 31-year-old Taylor, who has played professionally in America, showed her quality when she eased the ball beyond an onrushing Sandra Panos in the dying minutes of the match.

It was actually the third time England had beaten Panos – Chelsea’s Millie Bright had headed home in the sixth minute but the goal was disallowed for offside.

It might all have been so different had Mark Sampson’s side not survived an early scare when former Arsenal midfielder Vicky Losada capitalised on Steph Houghton’s slip on a greasy pitch with less than a minute gone, but the Spain player’s shot was wide.

Seconds later, though, England countered from a throw-in and after Ellen White slipped the ball into Kirby, the 24-year-old kept a cool head, gave the keeper the eyes and slotted home.

After Bright’s effort was ruled out, Spain fought back as the rain poured down in the Rat Verlegh Stadion, but, despite dominating, they failed to penetrate England’s backline.

It looked as though they were finally about to make the breakthrough 15 minutes from time when the ball ricocheted off the arm of a falling White in the box. But although the referee appeared to point to the penalty spot, nothing was given and Spain were left to rue the decision when Taylor calmly made it 2-0 at the death.

Earlier, Taylor’s team-mate Lisa Evans played in Scotland’s 2-1 loss to Portugal, Chelsea’s Erin Cuthbert on target for Anna Signeul’s side.

England’s victory over Spain means Scotland’s debut Euro campaign is not over yet, however. The decider will come on Thursday when both home nations are in action in their final group game, Scotland facing Spain, and England taking on Portugal.

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