Lionesses win but Scotland make it hard
Women's World Cup: England 2 Scotland 1
England's Nikita Parris and Ellen White scored first-half goals as the Lionesses defeated neighbours Scotland 2-1 yesterday to make a strong start to their World Cup campaign.
Phil Neville's team emerged as early leaders of a difficult Group D after a fine attacking display against the debutants at Stade de Nice.
England went 1-0 ahead in the 14th minute when striker Parris fired her penalty past goalkeeper Lee Alexander after a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review had confirmed that forward Fran Kirby's cross inside the box had hit defender Nicola Docherty's arm.
They continued to trouble the Scottish defence and doubled their lead through Birmingham City forward White, who collected the ball at the edge of the penalty area and beat Alexander with a curled effort from her left foot in the 40th minute.
Scotland pulled back a goal in the second half as former Manchester City forward Claire Emslie took advantage of a rare defensive error by England skipper Steph Houghton to slot the ball past goalkeeper Karen Bardsley with 11 minutes to go.
"The first game is always the most difficult but we set certain standards and the players know we need to keep meeting them... If we don't, we get second-half performances like we just got. We've got to be relentless now," said Neville.
England meet Argentina in their next match at Le Havre on Friday.