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Debutant Stokes sets sights on World Cup glory

Demi Stokes, delighted to make her World Cup debut versus Japan on Wednesday, is more convinced than ever that England should be aiming to win the trophy.

The Lionesses will play Cameroon in the Round of 16 in Valenciennes on Sunday and Stokes will be hoping to keep her place at left-back, after impressing in Nice in the Lionesses' third Group D victory.

The City defender had been sidelined through injury for England’s opening encounter with Scotland, and was an unused substitute in the 1-0 victory over Argentina.

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However, Stokes was utilised by Lionesses head coach Phil Neville in the side’s 2-0 win over Japan to top Group D.

“Obviously I’m buzzing to have made my debut," she said.

“It’s been a long time coming and obviously, it’s even better with a win as well - and a clean sheet of course, which is what you want as a defender.

“I’m proud of all of the team. It’s what we wanted - to finish with nine points and top of the group, so we are happy.

“We have good depth in our team and anyone can come in. It’s good that other people got to play as well and we got the job done.”

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Both goals on the night came from new signing Ellen White either side of half-time, and Stokes is looking forward to linking up with her compatriot at Club level.

“That’s three goals in two games now, and that’s what Ellen White does well," she added.

“She’s a very good signing, so we will look forward to that.”

The goals came from two slick moves that opened up the Japanese defence, and allowed White’s killer instinct to put the Lionesses in front.

There was a definite attacking plan in place, as Stokes explained: “The plan obviously was to come out on the front foot and get at them because we wanted to win the game.

"It was important we started well because Japan are a good team.

“There’s obviously going to be spells in the game where the other team have the ball quite a lot so it’s just being comfortable with that; staying organised, staying calm with it rather than being erratic and we did that well in the second half.”

England's form has left the players and staff quietly confident that they should fear no-one as they head into the knockout stages with a potential quarter-final against either Norway or Australia in Le Havre next Thursday.

“As footballers we want to be on the top stage and we want to come and win it,” Stokes stated.

Dominic Scott-Bone is a Football Journalism student at the University of Derby.

Women's Team

Neville tips Stanway for greatness

SUPER STANWAY: Phil Neville has tipped Georgia Stanway for a career of success

England Women’s head coach Phil Neville believes Manchester City star Georgia Stanway will become one of the best players in the world.

The 20-year-old was a shining light in England’s 2-0 triumph over Japan last night, assisting Ellen White’s opening goal and providing the opposition with a plethora of problems in what was her first-ever World Cup start.

Women's Team

Beckie in VAR drama as Canada lose

TUSSLE: Janine Beckie battles for the ball as Canada faced the Netherlands at the World Cup.

Janine Beckie won a penalty only to see it overturned by a VAR decision as Canada lost 2-1 to the Netherlands in their final World Cup group stage game.

The City forward played the full 90 minutes as the Canucks missed out on the opportunity to finish top of Group E.

Women's Team

Women's World Cup: Image of the day

COLLISION: Janine Beckie was fouled by Desiree van Lunteren as Canada took on the Netherlands.

With both sides assured of a place in the last 16, Canada versus the Netherlands should have been one of the more straightforward final group stage games at the Women’s World Cup.

The best daily image from the Women's World Cup...