Scotland’s debut at a major international tournament ended in a disappointing 6-0 defeat to England, making the next game against Portugal a crucial must-win. Despite the heavy scoreline, there were a couple positives for Scotland to take – including how more dangerous they looked when they patiently built up play in the second half. Saying that there needs to be a significant improvement in set-pieces – both attacking and defending.
England will be delighted with their performance, winning their first opening match at the Euros since 2005.
Next up for Scotland is Portugal on Sunday, whilst England plays Spain on the same day.
Scotland started positively when Jane Ross had a long-range shot which Karen Bardsley had to tip the ball over.
And the opening stages became more open, with England breaking and Jordan Nobbs being denied by a great block from Frankie Brown.
But soon, England had opened the scoring. A through-ball was smartly left by Fran Kirby, sending Jodie Taylor through on goal and she beat Gemma Fay with a superb finish.
Fran Kirby and Jill Scott came close to doubling the lead for England, but soon, Scotland started to show signs of recovering. They were continuing to win set pieces, and when they were patient with their build up, they were looking more threatening.
But, in the 26th minute, England doubled their lead in slightly controversial circumstances after Kirby won a soft-looking free-kick. However, Jordan Nobbs’ delivery was fantastic, Lucy Bronze had her shot cleared off the line by Caroline Weir before Taylor reacted quickly to curl the ball into the top-left corner.
Jane Ross came close to pulling a goal back through a long-range shot, but soon it was 3-0. Jill Scott shot from distance and when the ball deflected off the crossbar, Ellen White reacted quickest of all to score with a smart finish.
White and Nobbs both had good chances late on in the first half.
At half-time, Anna Signeul made a change, bringing Lana Clelland on for Fiona Brown – with Jane Ross moving to the wing with Clelland going through the middle. And the change improved Scotland’s attacking play, with Jane Ross having a shot blocked, and then shooting just over after a corner.
But soon, it was 4-0 to England. A long ball was flicked on by Ellen White to Jodie Taylor who then lobbed Fay with an astute finish to complete her hat-trick – the first by an England player at a major tournament.
Scotland continued their second half improvement and had a good chance, coming from free-kick when Steph Houghton tripped Jane Ross. From this foul, the Scotland striker picked up a knock to her shoulder that could keep her ruled out for the rest of the Euros. England cleared the initial free-kick, but Scotland recycled the ball, working the ball to Lisa Evans who tested Karen Bardsley with a shot.
Scotland came even closer when Clelland stole possession from Millie Bright near the corner flag and then broke into the box, but she could only shoot into the side-netting. It is possible that a pass to Erin Cuthbert could have been the better option.
Three minutes from time, England got their fifth goal. Substitute Karen Carney’s cross was reached by a stretching Ifeoma Dieke, but unluckily her clearance went straight to Jordan Nobbs, who blasted her volley past Fay.
Arguably, Scotland’s best move came in the 90th minute through lovely passing from Cuthbert, Evans and Crichton in the box, but brave defending from Houghton prevented the shot.
And with the last kick of the game, England scored their sixth. Nobbs’ corner was played deep to Houghton who headed it goalwards, where, standing just in the six-yard box, Toni Duggan flicked the ball past Fay with her head.