Jodie Taylor

Taylor books England’s place in last four

Jodie Taylor proved to be England’s hero as they defeated France for the first time in 43 years in a tight contest on Sunday evening.

It was the Lionesses who started the better of the two and it was Taylor who created the first chance as she skipped around the French defence on five minutes but fired wide of the target.

France then created their first opening on 11 minutes as Marie-Laure Delie up with Camille Abily before she cut inside to hit a powerful right footed drive just over Karen Bardsley’s crossbar.

Amandine Henry was next in line to try her luck as from twenty-five yards out she hit a low effort just wide of goal.

England then created another opening in what was turning out to be an exciting end to end game as Millie Bright got on the end of a Jordan Nobbs freekick but she could only flick her header just wide of the post.

As the game turned into a midfield battle England were lucky to still have eleven players on the pitch as Jill Scott was only shown a yellow after she brought down Henry on the halfway line this card however means that she will miss Thursdays semi-final against the Netherlands.

On 38 minutes, the French created a very good opening when Marie-Laure Delie powered a left footed drive at goal the ball however just dipped over the bar at the last minute.

It was France who started the second half better and had the first chance when Laura Georges tried her luck from outside the box the ball flying just over the crossbar if it was on target surely Bardsley was beaten.

It was then the turn of Eugénie Le Sommer to try her luck as she got on the end of a Jessica Houara before heading wide of the target when she really should have done better.

However England were to take the lead on 60 minutes as Lucy Bronze played in Taylor before she fired into the net for her fifth goal of the tournament despite French keeper Sarah Bouhaddi getting her hand to the ball.

Steph Houghton then came to England’s rescue as she made a superb block three minutes later as she charged down a Kadidiatou Diani rasping drive from outside the box.

Karen Bardsley was then called into action as she made a good save on 64 minutes as she kept out a towering header from Diani pushing the ball over the crossbar.

Amandine Henry then saw her attempt blocked by Bronze as she hit a low shot across goal after Le Sommer had played a delightful pass into her feet.

As the French, tired England started to find space in behind and could have sealed the victory as Taylor was played in by the superb Jordan Nobbs before she saw her effort plucked out of the air by Bouhaddi.

A minute later Nobbs had a chance of her own as she hit a low effort from the edge of the area just wide of the target.

However Mark Sampson did have to make a change on 75 minutes as Karen Bardsley limped off she was replaced by Liverpool Ladies number one Siobhan Chamberlain.

Élodie Thomis thought she had put the French level five minutes later but she saw her effort beat away by Chamberlain.

However England could have sealed the victory on 81 minutes as Bright linked up with Scott before her drive sailed just wide of the upright.

As England tired the French started to put more pressure on with Laura Georges dancing her way into the area before her teasing effort was blocked at the last minute by Bronze.

Claire Lavogez then thought she had the equaliser as Griedge Mbock Bathy had played the pass into her path but she hit her wicked effort just wide of the target as the England goal was living a dangerous life.

As the game was nearing its end Henry thought she had pulled the French level as her long range freekick sailed just wide as it looked for a spilt second it was going to hit the back of the net.

The final chance of the game however did fall the way of the French as Clarisse Le Bihan saw her header kept out by Comfortably by Chamberlain after Houara whipped in another perfect cross.


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