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Houghton scores in England stroll

Manchester City Women’s skipper Steph Houghton was on the score-sheet and Karen Bardsley kept and clean sheet as England beat Belarus 3-0 in Minsk.

Eniola Aluko and Lucy Bronze were also on the score-sheet in the Group 6 World Cup qualifier, whilst City's Jill Scott was an unused substitute for the Three Lions.

The result means Mark Sampson’s side needs just four points from their final three qualifiers to secure a place at Canada 2015.

England have now won all seven of their group games without conceding and could wrap up qualification if they beat Ukraine on 19 June and second-placed Wales drop points in their game.

Aluko put England ahead on 30 minutes and Houghton finished a text-book move from a free-kick to double the lead six minutes later with a smart low drive from Williams’ rolled pass on the edge of the box.

It was Houghton’s seventh goal for her country for who she has now won 47 caps. Liverpool's Bronze fittingly added the third on 90 minutes with City 'keeper Bardsley rarely troubled on an afternoon of almost complete English dominance.

City’s Lynda Shepherd’s Northern Ireland were also in action today away to Bosnia – we will bring you an update later.

Elsewhere, City's Lynda Shepherd completed 90 minutes for Northern Ireland but her side fell to a narrow defeat at the hands of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

A long-range Lidija Kuliš strike with nine minutes left on the clock was enough for the victory, despite the fact Alfie Wylie's side had created 13 more efforts than their opponents, including six on target.


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