England Women won their second consecutive qualifying game for the 2019 Women’s World Cup with a resounding 4-0 victory over Bosnia & Herzegovina Women.
England Women’s interim manager Mo Marley guided her side to a 4-0 win against Bosnia & Herzegovina. A brace from captain Steph Houghton as well as goals from Nikita Parris and Fran Kirby gave England their second win in their World Cup qualifying campaign.
From the first minute, England were on the front foot. The Lionesses made a promising start to the match through Fran Kirby whose low cross was hacked clear. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s aim was to defend and remain compact while England were on the offensive and going for goals.
It was clear that it would only be a matter of time before England took the lead. In the 19th minute, the deadlock was broken. Alex Greenwood took a short corner to Danielle Carter who beat her defender and crossed into the box. Bosnia keeper Almina Hodzic punched the ball into the danger area and captain Steph Houghton was in the right place to head in with ease.
England had a second goal disallowed as the ball had already gone out of play when Lucy Bronze pulled it back for former Manchester City team-mate Nikita Parris.
Bosnia were camped in their own half as they attempted to fend off the countless attacks from their opponents. Barcelona’s Toni Duggan rattled the woodwork and then Hodzic performed a superb double save to deny Kirby.
The visitors weren’t creating any chances of their own but Hodzic was keeping them in the game with some excellent saves.
Parris continued to threaten down the right hand side as Bosnia struggled to cope with her pace. She squared the ball into the box but Carter was unable to get the right touch.
Duggan’s effort from range was wide of the post with Hodzic just watching on. Despite England’s dominance (15 attempts on goal), the score was only 1-0 at half-time. The scoreline certainly didn’t reflect England’s commanding performance and Bosnia had Hodzic to thank for that.
After failing to double their lead in the first-half, England were 2-0 up just 42 seconds after the restart. A brilliant cross from Duggan found Parris who headed in at the near post. It was nothing more than England deserved following their dominant first-half performance.
Houghton got her second and England’s third goal of the night from a free-kick. Hodzic spent a lot of time organising Bosnia’s wall but it proved futile as there was still a huge gap which Houghton ruthlessly exploited.
Bosnia had the ball in the back of the net for the first time but the referee blew the whistle for a foul. Milena Nikolic pounced on Millie Bright’s poor header, raced past keeper Siobhan Chamberlain and fired home. However, the goal didn’t stand as Nikolic was adjudged to have tugged Bright’s shirt. The contact was very minimal and Nikolic was right to feel hard done by after being denied a great goal.
A penalty appeal from England fell on deaf ears after Carter was impeded on the edge of the box. She would have been through one-on-one but Amira Spahic wrapped both arms around her to prevent Carter from going forward. It should have been a penalty but the referee waved away the protests.
Carter was fouled in the box again and this time, England were awarded a penalty. The Arsenal forward was hauled to the ground by Hadzic and the referee had no choice but to point to the spot. Kirby stepped up to take the penalty and she sent the keeper the wrong way to make it 4-0 with seven minutes remaining. Kirby had done everything but score and she thoroughly deserved her goal.
England won 4-0 and it could have been much more given the number of chances they created. The Lionesses are second in Group A with six points while Bosnia & Hergzegovina are third with three points. Mo Marley’s side will face Kazakhstan on Tuesday.
England Women Starting XI: Chamberlain, Bronze, Greenwood, Nobbs, Houghton, Bright, Parris (Lawley 81), Christiansen (Potter 73), Carter, Kirby, Duggan
Unused substitutes: Stokes, Bardsley, Taylor, Carney
Bosina-Herzegovina Women Starting XI: Hodzic, Radeljic, Spahic (Milovic 90), Hasanbegovic, Kulis, Spahic (Hadzic 77), Krso, Aleksic, Spasojevic, Nikolic, Seslija (Sakotic 45)
Unused substitutes: Lihovic, Sabanovic, Lukic, Kameric