Coultard is catalyst for England

Gillian Coultard, the former England captain, scored two goals and played a key role in a third to earn her country a 3-2 victory over Canada in their first match in the women's World Cup in Helsingborg, Sweden last night.

However, England were given a late scare by a battling Canadian side, who scored two goals in the dying minutes to give the scoreline in the Group B match some respectability.

Coultard, who plays for Doncaster Belles, got off the mark after 55 minutes, making no mistake with a penalty after Karen Farley had been tripped in the box. In the 78th minute Coultard herself was fouled, allowing Arsenal's Marieanne Spacey to extend England's lead from the penalty spot.

Coultard rounded off an inspirational performance by sending home a powerful header from an inch-perfect cross by Hope Powell in the 86th minute.

Three minutes later Canada pulled a goal back through Helen Stoumbos, who capitalised on a missed punch by the England goalkeeper, Pauline Cope. Deep into injury time, Canada scored a second through Geraldine Donnelly.

England now face the powerful Norwegians, who beat Nigeria 8-0 last night.

Comments