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First half blast secures SheBelieves Cup
 Women's Football England International News - 9 Mar 2019
 
England 3 (Staniforth 12, Carney 23, Mead 30)
Japan 0

England blitzed Japan 3-0 to win the SheBelieves Cup for the first time and set down a marker ahead of this summer's World Cup.
 
First half goals from Lucy Staniforth, Karen Carney and Beth Mead did the damage as Phil Neville's side ripped apart the 2011 world champions.
 
The victory allowed the Lionesses to usurp Japan at the top of the round-robin tournament, with seven points from their three matches, and collect their first piece of silverware since winning the Cyprus Cup in 2015.
 
Neville made eight changes from the 2-2 draw with USA, with a first start for Staniforth and Arsenal's Leah Williamson, who partnered Steph Houghton in the centre of defence. But the changes did nothing to disrupt the momentum from Saturday night with England, runners-up in this competition last season, in full control from the off.
 
After early sighters for Houghton and Jodie Taylor, the Lionesses went ahead through Staniforth's 12th minute strike. She collected a cute, slide rule pass from Taylor and bent home a low, 20-yard shot into the bottom corner.
 
It was 2-0 less than ten minutes later and it was Taylor again with the assist. The Euro 2017 top scorer latched on to Lucy Bronze's throw in, raced to the touchline and dinked the ball into the six yard box where Carney was on hand to nod home.
 
The win - and destination of the SheBelieves Cup - was effectively confirmed on the half-hour mark when Mead collected Keira Walsh's delicious long range diagonal pass, before cutting inside and smashing the ball beyond Erina Yamane for her second goal of the tournament to cap a dominant first half.
 
The only downside to the opening 45 minutes was a nasty looking injury to Isobel Christiansen, which forced the midfielder off to be replaced by Georgia Stanway.
 
Japan, eighth in the FIFA rankings and runners-up at the 2015 World Cup, did improve after the break, fashioning four decent chances before the hour mark.
 
Hina Sugita headed just wide with 12 minutes remaining while Rikako Kobayashi forced Carly Telford into her first real save of the match late on.
 
But, in truth, England saw out the game fairly comfortably, allowing Houghton to get her hands on the prestigious SheBelieves Cup.
 
England: Carly Telford, Lucy Bronze, Alex Greenwood, Keira Walsh (sub Gemma Bonner 60mins), Steph Houghton, Leah Williamson, Karen Carney (sub Toni Duggan 66mins), Isobel Christiansen (sub Georgia Stanway 39mins), Jodie Taylor (sub Ellen White 51mins), Beth Mead (sub Chioma Ubogagu 66mins), Lucy Staniforth (sub Fran Kirby 81mins). Subs not used: Karen Bardsley, Abbie McManus, Nikita Parris, Demi Stokes, Rachel Daly, Mary Earps.
 

 
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