England Women 4-0 Japan Women: Rachel Daly, Chloe Kelly and Ella Toone inspire friendly victory over former world champions | Football News

Rachel Daly, Chloe Kelly, Ella Toone and Jess Park were all on target in a stylish 4-0 win as England dispatched former world champions Japan at the Pinatar Arena, further cementing their position as one of the favorites for next year’s World Cup .

Debutant Park, on from the substitutes’ bench, rounded off the scoring late on to put the gloss on an utterly ruthless attacking display as Sarina Wiegman extended her unbeaten reign as manager to 25 games.

Daly’s goal gave England a half-time lead and the European champions turned on the style after the break as Kelly and Toone struck before 21-year-old Park wrapped things up in the final minute of the 90th.

England's Ella Toone, right, celebrates after scoring her side's third goal against Japan
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Toone, right, celebrates after scoring England’s third goal against Japan

Kelly, England’s most impressive outlet, was rewarded for all her efforts in the first half when sweeping home from Beth Mead’s cross in the 53rd minute, cementing her claim for a regular starting berth in the absence of the injured Lauren Hemp.

Ebony Locks, another newcomer from the Lionesses, was then involved in England’s final foray of the night when providing the fourth, robbing Moeka Minami of possession before cutting the ball back for Park to make an almost instant impact.

English team news

Sarina Wiegman was forced into changes with Lauren Hemp gone, Alex Greenwood tired and Lucy Bronze ruled out after testing positive for Covid-19.

Fran Kirby is also missing with illness, but England showed growing depth as Esme Morgan and Niamh Charles made their first international starts.

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Park puts the seal on satisfying victory

Park scored just seconds into her debut as England eased to victory over Japan in Spain, with Wiegman commending her side for their spirit and display of “attractive football”.

The Lionesses are now unbeaten in their last 25 outings, with preparations for next summer’s World Cup well on track.

Japan, ranked 11th in the world, were seen as providing a unique technical challenge to test England’s seemingly unbreakable resolve, but it was one they handled comfortably.

It also demonstrated how blessed England are with young, breakthrough talent – with 21-year-old Locks laying on Toone’s strike, before orchestrating the opener for Park to mark a memorable international bow.

Chelsea forward Lauren James was just as eager to impress and was at the heart of England’s third goal, driving from midfield before shifting the ball to Locks who played a smart reverse pass to tee up Toone.

The only minor disappointment on an otherwise pleasing evening was that back-to-back forward Alessia Russo was unable to extend her purple patch in front of goal, despite almost nodding in Kelly’s swinging cross in the 26th minute – only to find the Outside of the remote post.

Wigman praises ‘attractive’ display

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England head coach Sarina Wiegman was pleased with the way her side adapted to Japan’s formation and tactics in their 4-0 win

England head coach Sarina Wigman:

“We played a very good game, it was a very attractive game with a lot of football.

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“Japan also played football, which played a very tactical, technical game. I really enjoyed it. They played in a slightly different shape to what we’re used to, so it’s good to see that we can do that.

“I really liked how we solved that. In the game they also changed it – we had to adapt all the time. We scored four so that’s really nice.

“It’s good to see young players playing well, they did very well. It’s only two minutes so we can’t really rate you [Jess Park] performance but when you make your debut and score – I haven’t seen you stop smiling yet.”

Kelly: Great to be back on the scoreboard

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Chloe Kelly hailed England’s performance and was personally delighted to get another international goal

England forward Chloe Kelly:

“This is a great Japan side and I think we did well on the night. A great team performance and we go again on Tuesday.

“Scoring always feels so good. I’ve waited a few times for this so it’s great to be on the scoresheet.

“We stood up tonight. We can be proud of the performance. Everything is a building block, we showed our quality again. It’s so great to be there, I really enjoy my football.”

Analysis: England the team to beat

Japan's Moeka Minami challenges for the ball with England's Beth Mead
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Japan’s Moeka Minami challenges for the ball with England’s Beth Mead

Sky Sports’ Laura Hunter:

“Another display of sheer supremacy from Sarina Wiegman’s side. There is no stopping England under the Dutch woman. Her record is phenomenal but, more than that, the Lionesses now carry a menacing air of inevitability. Not in an arrogant way, But they know they are a formidable challenge for any opponent. They are ruthless and fearless.

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“The European champions will be aiming for world domination in 2023 and, based on recent history, who will deny them a realistic shot. They conquered the reigning world champions USA at Wembley, and now they have seen off another of the Games’ Elite..

“During Wigman’s tenure, they beat all four sides to lift a World Cup trophy. If that’s not a comforting sign heading into next summer’s tournament, I don’t know what is. Expectations are constantly rising.”

Analysis: Lionesses technically outclassed Japan

Sky Sports reporter Anton Toloy:

“Speaking to Sarina Wigman after the game, she was happier with the result and performance than when England beat the USA at Wembley.

“The demanding head coach was satisfied with the ruthlessness in front of goal, able to beat such a technical side in Japan and by the young players who had an impact.

“Wigman gave first starts to two defenders in Niamh Charles and Esme Morgan and she was delighted with how both played. Her biggest smile, however, was reserved for Jess Park, who scored 79 seconds into her debut.

“Wigman admits she is optimistic about the future of this England side – she clearly sees trophies for years to come.”

what’s next

The Lionesses come next to Norway in the Pinatar Arena on Tuesday, November 15, starting at 19:00, to complete international action for 2022 – a year that will be remembered as England’s most satisfying yet.



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