MATCH 23: Portugal 1 – 2 England

Goalscorers:  Toni Duggan 7′ (ENG), Carolina Mendes 17′ (POR), Nikita Parris 48′ (ENG)

For their final group game, England made 10 changes to the line ups that defeated Scotland and Portugal as they searched for a perfect group record.  Meanwhile Portugal put out their strongest side as they searched for unlikely knock out phase qualification.  

It was a disastrous start for the Portuguese with their goalkeeper cleared a ball right into the path of Toni Duggan with the forward sending it straight back over her head into goals.  It was the third time England had scored within the opening 10 minutes in this tournament.  

Despite the set back Portugal continued to be industrious and worked hard to break down the new look and slightly disjointed England defence.  In the 17th minute the pressure down the right paid off when Diana Silva put in two crosses with the second well met by Carolina Mendes.  

Then came a period of control for Portugal and Silva continued to cause all sorts of issues alongside captain Claudia Neto.  Portugal found themselves in behind the England defence on several occasions and looked as if they may gain the unlikely winner.  

Mark Sampson’s side held on until the break and after it they were switched on once again.  Again it was an early goal with Isobel Christensen finding Parris’ run.  The Manchester City striker worked her way past several Portuguese defenders before burying her strike.  

England then looked relatively comfortable for the rest of the half although Portugal threatened late, the Lionesses held onto their perfect group record.   

“I am sure all Portuguese people are proud of this team and we have seen how much these players has progressed in recent months. We will go home with our heads held high, having fulfilled our duty of representing our country honourably. Portuguese women’s football is growing and the FA has been very supportive. I want to say a special thanks to the players who were on the bench as they played their part too, always showing their support for the team and proving we were one, united squad.”

Francisco Neto, Portugal coach

“We’ve gone and won a group with three wins against three difficult teams. To come through with three wins is a fantastic achievement, we’ve scored ten and conceded one – nobody is anywhere near us, not even scored half of what we got. I’m proud of this group, we’re in a position where we wanted to be, we have momentum, confidence behind us. We’re in form.”

Mark Sampson, England coach

Stat of the Match: 100 – for the first time England has finished a tournament with a 100% record in the group stage. 

MATCH 24:  Scotland 1 – 0 Spain

Goalscorers: Caroline Weir 42′

It had been a tough first European campaign but Scotland finished it on a high after they defeat Spain in the final group match of the tournament.

After tough loss against England, Spain regrouped and came out brightly as Marta Torrejon and Silvia Meseguer fired shots at Gemma Fay. The fluid Spanish attack continued to cause problems for Scotland as Mariona Caldentey found Amanda Sampedro with the Atleti forward just missing the target.

Fay continued to be part of the action when she fended off two headers from Jenni Hermoso and Irene Paredes to keep Scotland in the game.

Fay almost undid her good work when she handled outside of the box but got a reprieve with only a yellow card shown.

The goalkeepers were in the conversation again in the 42nd minute, this time it was Sandra Panos who came out for a ball which fell to Caroline Weir.  The Liverpool forward held of Panos and fired through the legs of Paredes for a Scotland goal.

In the second half Spain pushed for the equaliser and Fay turned spectator when Silvia Meseguer’s effort rattled the crossbar. Then came the flurry of chances for Spain as they threw everything at Scotland.  

First Paz headed wide, then Ifeoma Dieke made a goalline clearance after Alexia Putellas’ effort was saved by Fay.  Scotland produced a couple of half chances to reduce the pressure but despite the Spanish attack, the Scots held on for a hard earned victory. 

“I am always proud of them. Even when we lose, and maybe do not perform so well, but they try their best all the time. Tonight was fantastic. They showed what we are all about. It’s so sad we could not have gotten a point against Portugal as that would have taken us to the quarter-finals.

“Maybe this tournament was a little too much for us this time. We did not start well against England but we have such a good future for women’s football in Scotland. I am extremely proud of not only every player who is here but every player who is not here with us, as they have played their part in getting us here.

Scotland coach Anna Signeul

“In terms of the positives, aside from qualification, we enjoyed a good second half and enjoyed plenty of possession, but we were perhaps a little too nervous. Now we must analyse this game and try to identify where we can improve, but our second half was better than the first”

Spain coach, Jorge Vilda

Stat of the Match: 11 – Spain were completely dominant in the game, including in the final third.  They forced 11 corners but again were unable to capitalise on any of them 

Save of the Match: