England Women secure ideal start
- 05 March 2014 18:54
- Posted by @roline_mcfc
England's Women's team ensured that their defence of the Cyprus Cup began on the perfect note, with a 2-0 victory over Italy.
Goals from Karen Carney and City's Toni Duggan earned a deserved victory for the Three Lions, who featured a trio of Blues stars in the squad.
Duggan and Steph Houghton both lasted the full 90 minutes, whilst Jill Scott joined the action as a second-half substitute. Goalkeeper Karen Bardsley would also have featured but the shot-stopper was forced to pull out of the competition last week due to injury.
England opened the scoring with a penalty on the stroke of half-time, after Duggan was upended in the box. Carney stepped up to covert the spot-kick before the City striker added a second on 62 minutes, embarking on a powerful run and executing the finish to perfection.
The Three Lions could have added to their tally but will happily take the win into their game against Finland on Friday.
Also in Cyprus, Betsy Hassett's New Zealand side endured a disappointing result against the Republuc of Ireland, as the Football Ferns needed a late equaliser to salvage a draw in their opening game.
The Ferns trailed after 64 minutes, when Aine O'Gorman found the net, but drew level with three minutes of normal time remaining thanks to a Hannah Wilkinson strike.
Their next fixture is against Switzerland on Friday.
Elsewhere, England's under-23 squad haven't enjoyed the best of weeks, having only managed a draw and two defeats in the La Manga tournament. After conceding a late equaliser to Sweden on Saturday and falling to a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Germany on Monday, the youngsters then suffered a 4-0 loss to Japan on Wednesday.
City's Isobel Christiansen captained the side for 62 minutes in the first game but was an unused substitute in the second. She did feature in the final game.
And finally, the England under-19 squad, which includes City's 17-year-old midfielder Natasha Flint, kick-off their La Manga tournament on Saturday as they lock horns with the Republic of Ireland.