England’s opening group game against Scotland was a must-win affair and though it ended a little nervously, the 2-1 win as the Lionesses off and running.
As reported in today’s Media Watch, City had seven players in action on Sunday and six former City stars mixed between England and Scotland – an incredible statistic with our new signing Ellen White showing her eye for goals with a clinical strike from 18 yards and a header narrowly ruled out for offside.
Jill Scott won her 138th England cap against the Scots in what is her fourth World Cup – a record only Karen Carney can match.
At 32, she’s not quite a veteran status, but she’ll be 36 by the time the next World Cup comes along – and she is hoping she will still be part of the Lionesses squad.
“I still feel like I am in the prime of my career,” said Scott.
“I don’t feel like it’s over yet. I just want to enjoy this World Cup and work hard and see what happens because it is the biggest tournament of your life.
“I hope this isn’t my last. Phil (Neville) keeps saying to me that I have another tournament in me, and I just tell him that I want to get through this one first!
“When people keep saying that this will be my fourth World Cup, I still have to pinch myself. I can still remember my first one [China 2007] like it was yesterday.
“I’ve played a lot of minutes for Manchester City this season and that’s just something I’ll have to monitor along the way.”
On the victory over Scotland, Scott added: “I thought we passed the ball really well in the first half, probably letting them in a bit too much in the second half, but it would have been difficult to give a perfect performance in the opening game.
“I think in terms of the warm-up games – not using this as an excuse – we were just desperate to get out here, we really were.
“We even said after the Denmark game that there was a lot of negativity about our performance, but we beat them 2-0 and I thought they were a very good team.
“Now we are here, we can settle. The most important thing was that we got the first win here.
“The performance is what we need to build on now, but I wouldn’t necessarily say we’re disappointed. I told myself when I woke up that as long as we got the three points, I would be happy, and I know how important it is in a tournament. And we’ve done that now, and I think we should be proud of ourselves in that sense.
“A lot of our players haven’t been at a World Cup, haven’t experienced that kind of situation, and I think they handled it really well. We will all develop and grow in this competition.”
England are next in action against Argentina in Le Harve next Friday at 8pm.
This evening, another City favourite will be in action as Janine Beckie’s Canada take on Cameroon in their first Group E game.
Beckie’s impressive international stats read 56 caps and 25 goals and she will be looking to add to that tally against the 500/1 African outsiders.
Canada’s game starts at 8pm BST.