England 1-1 Australia: Fran Kirby scores again but wasteful Lionesses held


Clare Polkinghorne scores for Australia

Clare Polkinghorne punished England with a late headed goal from a corner

England paid the price for their profligacy in front of goal as they drew with an under-strength Australia at Craven Cottage.

Chelsea forward Fran Kirby turned and fired the Lionesses ahead midway through the first half after being found by Beth Mead, who had latched on to a poor clearance by Matildas goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold.

Lucy Staniforth then had a second goal ruled out for offside on the stroke of half-time, with replays showing the officials got the decision wrong.

England failed to take further chances, although they had two strong claims for a penalty turned down, and defender Clare Polkinghorne headed in from a corner with six minutes remaining to deny the hosts a sixth successive win.

England dominate but fail to make it count

England boss Phil Neville had called on his side to be more clinical with their opportunities following their 1-0 win over Brazil on Saturday and will be rueing more missed chances as his side, ranked third in the world, continued their preparations for next summer’s World Cup in France.

Australia, ranked sixth, proved to be stubborn opponents despite missing several senior players but England were good value for their lead at the break.

Mead impressed after being handed a start on the right wing and the Arsenal striker will be wondering how she did not get on the scoresheet in west London.

She fired wide twice when Arnold was out of position, saw a flicked effort well saved by the keeper and should have been awarded a spot-kick when she was brought down by Caitlin Foord on the stroke of half-time.

But England failed to convert their dominance into a second goal, and will have to be more ruthless if they wish to improve on their third-place finish at the 2015 World Cup in Canada.

Officials under the spotlight

England were eventually punished as Polkinghorne rose highest to powerfully head in Elise Kellond-Knight’s corner from the right, but the quality of the match officials proved to be the main talking point.

Kirby and Staniforth were clearly level from Mead’s clever through ball before the break, and Birmingham midfielder Staniforth was behind play before she tapped in Kirby’s square ball.

Referee Florence Guillemin then turned down further England appeals for a penalty with 10 minutes left after Nikita Parris was clearly brought down by Foorde, having touched the ball past the Matildas left-back.

Unlike this year’s men’s World Cup in Russia, there will be no VAR (video assistant referee) system in place at the Women’s World Cup in 2019.

After Tuesday’s game, Neville admitted he is worried by the performances of the officials at the tournament in France and what impact this may have on the growth of the game.

“Having VAR at the World Cup does not worry me, the standard of refereeing does,” he said. “If we want to make the women’s game absolute top, we are putting the players under immense pressure to challenge them to be better professionals and have better quality.

“Every country in the world is on the same pathway, not just England – and then I see a performance like that tonight. That is my biggest concern.”

Woman of the match – Fran Kirby (England)

Fran Kirby celebrates scoring<!–

The Chelsea forward, nominated for the inaugural Women’s Ballon d’Or alongside right-back Lucy Bronze, almost proved to be England’s match-winner again and should have had an assist but for the assistant’s wrongful offside flag

What’s next?

England are back in action against Sweden, ranked ninth in the world, in Rotherham on Sunday, 11 November at 13:30 GMT.

Live Text

Match ends, England 1, Australia 1.

Second Half ends, England 1, Australia 1.

Corner, England. Conceded by Clare Polkinghorne.

Offside, England. Fara Williams tries a through ball, but Nikita Parris is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Rachel Daly (England) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Lucy Bronze with a cross.

Alex Greenwood (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ellie Carpenter (Australia).

Toni Duggan (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ellie Carpenter (Australia).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Mackenzie Arnold (Australia) because of an injury.

Offside, England. Nikita Parris tries a through ball, but Alex Greenwood is caught offside.

Caitlin Foord (Australia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Lucy Bronze (England) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Caitlin Foord (Australia).

Substitution, England. Leah Williamson replaces Abbie McManus.

Offside, England. Toni Duggan tries a through ball, but Rachel Daly is caught offside.

Toni Duggan (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ellie Carpenter (Australia).

Goal! England 1, Australia 1. Clare Polkinghorne (Australia) header from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Elise Kellond-Knight with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Australia. Conceded by Mary Earps.

Attempt saved. Ellie Carpenter (Australia) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Emily Gielnik.

Attempt blocked. Jordan Nobbs (England) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Nikita Parris.

Fara Williams (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Elise Kellond-Knight (Australia).

Substitution, Australia. Alexandra Chidiac replaces Chloe Logarzo because of an injury.

Foul by Alex Greenwood (England).

Larissa Crummer (Australia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution, England. Fara Williams replaces Francesca Kirby.

Attempt blocked. Chloe Logarzo (Australia) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mary Fowler.

Foul by Rachel Daly (England).

Ellie Carpenter (Australia) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Stephanie Houghton (England).

Chloe Logarzo (Australia) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Mary Fowler (Australia) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Attempt missed. Nikita Parris (England) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Toni Duggan.

Attempt missed. Rachel Daly (England) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Alex Greenwood with a cross.

Substitution, Australia. Mary Fowler replaces Lisa De Vanna.

Substitution, Australia. Larissa Crummer replaces Princess Ibini.

Attempt missed. Rachel Daly (England) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Lucy Bronze with a cross.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/45783175

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