England Lionesses roar to a big World Cup qualifier win at Colchester
- Credit: PA
World Cup qualifier England 5 Kazakhstan 0 Melissa Lawley scored her first senior goal for England Women and Nikita Parris hit a double as they thrashed Kazakhstan Women 5-0 in World Cup qualifying at Colchester’s Weston Homes Community Stadium tonight.
Lawley opened the scoring in the 15th minute from the right of the box after being set up by Jill Scott.
Substitute Fran Kirby added the second from the penalty spot after the break before a quickfire Parris brace eased England to victory.
Izzy Christiansen added the gloss with the fifth goal after an excellent ball in by Alex Greenwood which was played on by Kirby.
The win left England just a point behind Group 1 leaders Wales with a game in hand.
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It was Lawley’s first start for interim head coach Mo Marley’s side and despite the Lionesses’ dominance in the first half, they only had the 23-year-old’s goal to show for it.
After the break, Jodie Taylor’s shot deflected off a Kazakhstan defender and hit the foot of the post before being cleared in the 59th minute as the hosts piled on the pressure.
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And Kirby made it 2-0 in the 64th minute – seconds after coming onto the pitch in place of Taylor – with her second penalty in as many games, after Yekaterina Babshuk was adjudged to have handled the ball.
Parris then blasted home a fine Kirby through-ball for England’s third five minutes later before notching her second in the 75th minute after Scott’s dummy allowed Kiera Walsh’s pass to reach the Manchester City forward, who coolly placed it into the bottom right corner.
Christiansen was at the far post to tap in Kirby’s ball across the face of goal after a searching cross by Greenwood as England again outclassed their opponents
Lawley and Kirby both had shots blocked in a frantic passage of play with five minutes remaining as England pressed for another, with Parris then seeing her hat-trick chance go begging after the ball bounced too high for her to control.
Christiansen went close from distance as the clock entered stoppage time as England refused to ease off the gas and Walsh’s low strike from 20 yards brushed the outside of the post.