6 July 2011

Two Blues Help England Through

Everton Ladies Jill Scott in action for England against Japan

Two Everton Ladies helped England secure their place in the quarter-finals of the Women's World Cup on Tuesday as they beat Japan 2-0.

Left-back Rachel Unitt and Player of the Match Jill Scott played a full-90 minutes in the game, while Fara Williams and Rachel Brown were unused substitutes.

The Three Lions entered the game knowing that a win would see them finish top of Group B, and went about their mission in fine fashion.

Arsenal striker Ellen White put the Lions in front on 15 minutes with a superb lob, before her Gunners team mate Rachel Yankey secured the win in the second half with a well taken chipped finish.

White proved a handful all evening, and on-form Everton midfielder Scott - who has played every minute of England's Cup campaign so far - proved problematic for the Japanese defence in front of goal.

White came close to opening the scoring in the first few exchanges of the game as she latched onto Scott's flick-on from Sophie Bradley's long throw, and the game livened up from that moment as England broke the deadlock.

Karen Carney played the ball expertly over the top for White and the young forward kept her cool and lobbed Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori from the edge of the area to score her first goal of the tournament.

As the Japanese fought hard for an equaliser after the interval, Blues left-back Unitt was required to block a fierce shot from close range by Japan's Yuki Nagasato, but England's second goal was to come soon after as Yankey doubled England's lead on 66 minutes. Unitt's cross from the left fell perfectly for Yankey to take the ball away from her marker and lift it over the goalkeeper.

The Three Lions will face France, who finished second in their group, on Saturday 9 July in Leverkusen (kick-off 5pm GMT).

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