England made a winning start to their FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign, beating rivals Scotland 2-1 at the Allianz Riviera in Nice.
Five City players started for England, with Karen Bardsley, Steph Houghton, Keira Walsh, Jill Scott and new signing Ellen White all in Phil Neville’s XI, with Georgia Stanway introduced in the second half.
And they came up against Club teammate Caroline Weir.
After a frantic start to the match, England drew first blood, Nikita Parris dispatching a penalty after a handball from Nicola Docherty inside the box was picked up by VAR. It seemed a harsh decision, with the ball fired at Docherty from close range, but under the new directives the officials were given no option other than to award a spot kick.
Scotland goalkeeper Lee Alexander made a stunning reaction save to deny White doubling the Lionesses’ lead, before the forward’s header was ruled out for offside seconds later as England began to dictate play.
But five minutes before half-time, White would not be denied, this time clinically dispatching a curling effort from the edge of the area that gave Alexander no chance.
England 2-0 up and in complete control at half-time.
They had the ball in the net again 30 seconds after the restart, but Beth Mead was adjudged to be offside as she finished from White’s cross, and Alexander made another fine save to deny White her second of the game.
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But Scotland were much improved during the second period and got a deserved goal 12 minutes from time through former City forward Claire Emslie.
Emslie's strike led to a somewhat tense finish to the game, but England, displaying excellent game management, nullified Scotland’s renewed enthusiasm and secured three big points.
Tomorrow sees Japan and Argentina, the other two sides in Group D, go head to head at the Parc des Princes.
Earlier in the day, in Group C, Italy beat Australia 2-1 and Brazil earned a comfortable 3-0 victory over Jamaica.