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Women's Football World Cup News
England 1 (Williams 21) Mexico 1 (Ocampo 33)
att: 18,702; at the Arena Im Allerpark, Wolfsburg
England's opening World Cup match ended with honours even as Fara Williams' first half header was cancelled out by a long range strike from Monica Ocampo.
Hope Powell reverted to her most experienced line up, barring Karen Bardsley in goal, with Karen Carney and Eniola Aluko starting whilst Faye White and Williams were both declared fit. Despite a promising start, the team produced a disjointed performance in a largely tepid affair played in hot conditions in Wolfsburg.
The first opportunity of the game came Mexico's way as Maribel Dominguez chased a long ball into the area but White did well to get across and hold her up before Jill Scott was able to clear. England hit back with Kelly Smith working space for herself just outside the area before drilling her shot just wide.
England's enterprising start eventually brought its reward. Rachel Yankey did well to dispossess Alina Garciamendez before finding Carney whose shot was deflected wide. The resulting corner, taken by Carney, picked out Williams who beat Cecilia Santiago with a looping header from twelve yards.
Santiago made saves from Yankey and Williams, who also went close with a curling shot, before Mexico stunned England with an equaliser against the run of play.
Ocampo picked the ball up and carried to within 30 yards where she unleashed a powerful strike which dipped into the corner of the net, although Bardsley could well have done better in her effort to save.
Aluko nearly replied at the other end with a shot which was just off target but the goal had taken the wind out of England's sails and affected their play from that point.
Dominguez fired a 20-yard free kick just wide early in the second half after Jill Scott had been penalised for handball, but England had a great chance to go back in front after Yankey's deep cross was headed back across goal by Carney but Aluko missed her kick from close range.
There was an escape for England as Rachel Unitt appeared to bring down Garciamendez in the area following a corner but no penalty was awarded.
England could not really get going during the second half and their passing was disappointing on a number of occasions but one good move saw Alex Scott and Smith combine to set up Aluko who stabbed her shot wide of the far post.
Ellen White was introduced up front during the later stages and the striker almost set up a chance but her cross was fractionally too high for the oncoming Smith.
Both sides won free kicks in dangerous positions in the dying minutes but neither was to hit the target. Smith shot wastefully over after Ellen White had been fouled and a minute later, following a foul by the otherwise excellent Casey Stoney, Ocampo lifted her kick over the bar.
Mexico inflicted late pressure during injury time and it took a fine block from Ellen White to deny Stephany Mayor, the striker throwing herself in the way of a well struck shot to make sure that her team took a point out of the game.
England: Karen Bardsley, Alex Scott, Rachel Unitt, Jill Scott, Faye White (sub Sophie Bradley 82mins), Casey Stoney, Karen Carney (sub Ellen White 71mins), Fara Williams, Eniola Aluko, Kelly Smith, Rachel Yankey.
Mexico: Cecilia Santiago, Rubi Sandoval, Luz del Rosario Saucedo, Alina Garciamendez, Natalie Vinti, Stephany Mayor, Monica Ocampo, Guadalupe Worbis, Maribel Dominguez (sub Juana Lopez 76mins), Dinora Garza (sub Teresa Noyola 85mins), Nayeli Rangel.
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