England 0-0 Spain (21/2/22)
Above: Norfolk’s own Lauren Hemp in action on home soil for her country for the first time at Carrow Road. Photo: Hannah Parnell for Impetus.
By Darrell Allen at Carrow Road for Impetus with EXCLUSIVE photos from pitchside from Hannah Parnell.
An expectant crowd greeted the Lionesses at a wet and windy Carrow Road as Sarina Wiegman made nine changes from the 1-1 draw vs Canada at The Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough on Thursday.
England began the game brightly with the ball falling to Nikita Parris after some bright movement but she was not able to produce any end product.
The next stages of the game saw Spain get a foothold performing their excellent passing game which has become so well associated with them over recent years. They were dominant in possession and general play as the game progressed Alexia Putellas looking most lively early on.
After a foul on Ellen White, Jill Scott produced the first real England chance in the seventh minute firing narrowly wide of the bar.
Spain continued their dominance in possession though but without really causing England too many problems.
Ellen White was flagged offside before Rachel Daly took a blow to the face. From a resulting free kick Ellen White went close but Rivero in the Spain goal easily dealt with it. Beth Mead fired a shot across the box, but this was comfortably dealt with. An Alex Greenwood corner came to nothing and a Georgia Stanway cross was headed away. Jill Scott was one of England’s impressive performers and her tireless work rate meant Spain’s defence was rattled on a number of occasions.
England defence got themselves all in a mess and Conca got in and fired over the bar. Spain upped their intensity and Segura crossed to Cordoba but England dealt well. Gutierrez and Conca then carved England open as the hosts allowed Spain too much space and they were easily looking the more comfortable and assured in possession.
England resorted to long balls for a period due to the conditions as wind and rain continued to interfere with the afternoon but credit to both teams who put on a good show through the game. Ellen White always looked the biggest threat for England as she kept chasing down the keeper but with no joy.
A good chance came for England when Jordan Nobbs crossed and Ellen White headed wide.
De Miguel was a good outlet for Spain but despite all their best efforts did very little to trouble England. The hosts ended the first half well and by forcing Spain back to the keeper a lot when they were trying to play out. The first half ended goalless
The second half began with Lauren Hemp being introduced for Nikita Parris and it was the Norfolk girl from North Walsham who nearly gave the 14,284 in attendance their dream moment when she crashed a great chance against the post.
This was a clear wake-up call for Spain who then got into their stride again. Beivide looked lively after her introduction, Rachel Daly and Jess Carter both had to make crucial interventions to prevent any damage being done.
The pass of the game was then made by Lucy Bronze to Jordan Nobbs who fired a cross goal. A beautiful move that deserved a better finish. England had a very bright spell as Nobbs continued to link up well with Hemp.
The game settled down again and Spain got the upper hand. Beivide played in Isasa who fired across goal. Pascual then produced a curling shot over the bar.
Beivide continued her dominance which would later see her claim the man of the match award. Isasa had a good chance as Spain began to really turn the screw but Jess Carter dealt well. They had another opportunity when Cebrian then floated a free-kick into Hannah Hampton’s hands.
England stepped up their pressure with Mead and Bronze linking well but nothing to show. Hemp dispossessed Sanz and passed to White who took too many touches and was unable to finish.
Bronze continued to be involved in some good moves as the game continued to swing backwards and forwards.
The crowd continued to be vibrant with good noise from all stands which Bronze fed off the noise by firing in a ferocious cross which Rivero had to bunch out.
Beivide continued to be the forefront of all good Spain efforts and had three or four good chances in the late stages of the game but couldn’t find an end product for her efforts.
Despite chances at both ends, it ended goalless. It fair result and a very enjoyable affair. England acquitted themselves well, both teams were very pleasing on the eye but I feel it’s Sarina Wiegman who will be the happier of the managers at the end of the day.
Further Photos from Hannah Parnell from England v Spain:
Teams: ENGLAND (4-3-3): Hampton, Bronze, Carter, Greenwood, Daly, Nobbs, Scott, Stanway, Parris, White, Mead.
SPAIN (4-3-3): Rodriguez, Garcia Gomez, Andres, Leon, Batlle, Bonmati, Guijarro, Putellas, Cardona, Hermosa, Garcia Cordoba.
Referee: Iuliana Demetrescu (ROM).