Six MCWFC stars feature in France stalemate
- 09 March 2016 23:54
- Posted by @roline_mcfc
England Women completed their SheBelieves Cup adventure with a goalless draw against France.
Six of Manchester City Women's Lionesses featured the clash in Florida, as Sampson named Karen Bardsley, Steph Houghton, Demi Stokes, Jill Scott and Toni Duggan in his starting XI, while Lucy Bronze emerged from the bench.
In their first meeting since the opening game of their 2015 World Cup campaigns, both sides sought a victory to end the tournament on a high and avoid finishing in last place.
Mark Sampson's side required a point to do so, having scored a goal more than their counterparts in their narrow defeat to Germany.
France - unbeaten against England since 1974 - started the brighter, creating three clear chances in the opening 20 minutes.
Elodie Thomis dragged an effort wide, before Bardsley then denied her at the near-post, and the shot-stopper was called into action again to thwart Marie-Laure Delie.
England's first dangerous venture into the opposition penalty area saw Scott come close to dispossessing Meline Gerard in the six-yard box, but the goalkeeper did just enough to clear.
Claire Lavogez then watched as her acrobatic attempt struck the crossbar as France continued to dominate, with the Lionesses having to wait until the 41st minute to force Gerard into a save.
Two City stars were involved in England's best attack of the opening 45, as Scott played Stokes through expertly - only for the 'keeper to make the stop.
That effort served to boost the Lionesses' confidence and the second half proved a much more even contest with Sampson's side providing more of an attacking threat.
Katie Chapman was unfortunate to fire just wide before Scott saw her appeals for a penalty waved away.
At the other end, Eugenie Le Sommer dragged a shot off-target and there was concern for Bardsley, who had to undergo treatment but was deemed fit enough to continue.
Jordan Nobbs and Le Sommer went close with long-range strikes in the dying minutes but the deadlock remained unbroken and England finished the SheBelieves Cup tournament in third place and in positive spirits following an admirable overall display.
England: Bardsley, A Scott (Bronze 69), Houghton (c), Stoney, Rafferty, Williams, Nobbs, Chapman, Stokes (Carney 71), J Scott, Duggan (Aluko 55).
Subs: Chamberlain, Greenwood, Bassett, Christiansen, Kirby, Davison.
After the international break, MCWFC's England stars will return to Manchester to prepare for the new Women's Super League season. 2016 Seasoncards are now on sale so you can guarantee your seat for all MCWFC home games, including the UEFA Women's Champions League.
To celebrate the big kick off we're also giving fans the opportunity to meet Steph Houghton and Toni Duggan. Find out how you can win this special visit.