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Neville starts with win as England rout France
March 03, 2018
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Columbus: Phil Neville’s reign as manager of England’s women’s team got off to a dream start with a 4-1 rout of France in the SheBelieves Cup here Thursday.

A blistering first-half display with goals from Toni Duggan, Jill Scott and Jodie Taylor set England on the way to an impressive opening win in the tournament, which also includes the United States and Germany.

Chelsea forward Fran Kirby added a fourth for England early in the second half to seal a victory which leaves Neville’s side brimming with confidence ahead of Sunday’s second game against Germany in Harrison, New Jersey.

France pulled one back on 77 minutes when Millie Bright deflected a shot from sub Gaetane Thiney.

Former Manchester United and Everton utility player Neville was controversially appointed to the England job in January despite having no experience as a full-time manager in either the women’s or men’s game.

He had replaced Mark Sampson, the manager who was sacked last year for inappropriate relationships with players in a former job at Bristol Academy. Neville’s side however served notice that they aim to be among the contenders at next year’s World Cup in France with a ruthless demolition of the tournament hosts.

Neville kept most the squad which reached the semi-finals of the Euro Championships last year but there was a recall for Chelsea’s Anita Asante for the first time since 2015 while highly rated Manchester City ace Keira Walsh was given her second cap.

Agence France-Presse

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