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England got off to a fantastic start by defeating current World Champions Korea DPR by 3-1 in their opening game of the FIFA U20 Women's World Cup.
On this form, England will have a very good chance of progressing to the last eight of this tournament. They outplayed their opposition and displayed a maturity beyond their age group with their game management.
Despite the blazing temperatures, England played with a coolness in possession that demanded the ball be played on the surface. Early on, Georgia Stanway demonstrated her typical direct nature, driving at the heart of the Korean defence to line up an effort, although her shot was always rising. But this was a sign of raw intent.
Korea grew themselves into the game by finding pockets between the England midfield and defence as Kim Kyong Yong turned into the space presented in front of her, before putting a shot wide.
Stanway then dragged her team back on top, collecting deep in the opposition half and travelling to the edge of the box, letting fly with another shot goalwards.
England turned their overloading pressure into a clinical lead with fifteen minutes left of the first half. Lauren Hemp collected a loose ball, looking up to feed the ready Russo. Already on her toes, her touch took her into a prime position to strike a crisp drive into the bottom corner.
Hemp's header hit the post seconds after the restart, signalling intent flowing through this England performance.
England fans were cheering again after Stanway stabbed home for England's second, sniffing out a chance from Korea's failure to clear their lines. None was more deserving of a goal than the Manchester City attacking midfielder.
Korea clawed one back, substitute Ja Un Yong beating her markers and directing a header into the bottom corner in the 71st minute.
However, England's two-goal cushion was retained in a matter of moments. Hemp's tireless running into the channels found her free from Stanway's pass to cross for the onrushing Russo to convert her second and England's third.
The relentless energy and desire showed across the team was indicative of the worthy scoreline and Mo Marley's squad will march into their next game on Wednesday afternoon, against Brazil back here in Dinan, full of confidence.
England: Sandy MacIver, Anna Patten, Maz Pacheco (sub Taylor Hinds 71mins), Mollie Rouse, Grace Fisk, Megan Finnigan, Alessia Russo (sub Rinsola Babajide 84mins), Lauren Hemp (sub Charlie Wellings 90mins), Georgia Stanway, Chloe Peplow, Chloe Kelly. Subs not used: Georgia Allen, Niamh Charles, Ali Johnson, Ellie Roebuck, Esme Morgan, Zoe Cross, Emily Ramsey.
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