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England vs Scotland result: Lionesses open Women's World Cup 2019 with hard-fought win

England's 2019 Women's World Cup opener ended in victory

Mark Critchley
Nice
,Harry Latham-Coyle
Sunday 09 June 2019 18:55
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England v Scotland: Women's World Cup match preview

England opened their 2019 Women's World Cup campaign with a hard-fought win over Scotland in Nice.

Expectations are high for Phil Neville's Lionesses after a successful run up to the finals including victory in the SheBelieves Cup back in March but they didn't have it all their own way against the Scots.

Nikita Parris opened the scoring from the spot before Ellen White doubled the lead just before the break. Claire Emslie grabbed one back to make it a nervy finish but Phil Neville's team got over the line to take the three points.

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Good afternoon and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of England vs Scotland in the Women's World Cup.

It's finally here as the Lionesses begin their quest for glory in France. 

Harry will be along shortly with all the latest build-up and that all-important team news.

Without further ado, off we go.

Ben Burrows9 June 2019 15:02
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Beginnings.

The first weekend of the 2019 Women's World Cup comes to a close with the start of both England and Scotland's campaigns, a chance for both sides to lay down a marker.

England are clear favourites. Phil Neville has continued the work of his predecessors in building this England side, in the process asserting the Lionesses' place among the contenders for the tournament despite a somewhat sticky pre-tournament build-up. With a clutch of new stars and a number of battle-hardened veterans with experience from which to draw, England look a complete side.

Scotland make their World Cup bow, up into the top 20 of FIFA's rankings under the fine premiership of Shelley Kerr and plotting a shock today. Their last tournament encounter with their southerly neighbours was two years ago, an affair to forget in Utrecht, 6-0 at the 2017 European Championships. But this is a different Scotland, with a budding superstar in Chelsea's Erin Cuthbert in their ranks and with plenty of experience of their own. As Kerr suggested in her pre-match press conference, the pressure is firmly on England, and Neville's charges cannot afford to be complacent.

Contenders against World Cup novices, yes, but this could be a good'un. It's England against Scotland, a battle across Hadrian's Wall fought in the south of France, and kick-off is an hour away...

Harry Latham-Coyle9 June 2019 15:57
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Team News - Scotland

Rachel Corsie leads Scotland's women into their first World Cup battle. The aforementioned Cuthbert will provide threat going forward, while vice-captain Kim Little is a classy presence in midfield.

Harry Latham-Coyle9 June 2019 16:05
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Team News - England

Injury doubts Toni Duggan and Demi Stokes only make the England bench, but it is nevertheless a strong starting lineup for the Lionesses. 

Harry Latham-Coyle9 June 2019 16:07
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There has supposedly been a fair amount of debate within the England camp on how best to assemble their starting line-up, with players and manager in disagreement over whether to use a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1.

It looks like Phil Neville has opted for the latter from the start. Plenty of potency in forward areas, which has been something of an issue recently.

Harry Latham-Coyle9 June 2019 16:11
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England do come into the World Cup in strong tournament form after their triumph in the SheBelieves Cup earlier in the year, while they have made the semi-finals of each of the last two major competitions, including a third place finish in Canada four years ago. 

Harry Latham-Coyle9 June 2019 16:15
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Talking of the SheBelieves Cup, it was a time of joy for most of the England squad as they lifted the trophy, but for one member it was a time of heartbreak.

Izzy Christiansen suffered a serious leg injury during the tournament and despite a heroic effort to get back towards full fitness before the squad was named, just missed out on selection for the World Cup.

She talked through the last few months with Tom Kershaw...

Harry Latham-Coyle9 June 2019 16:18
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But every cloud has a silver lining, and Christiansen will still be busy during the tournament - she's signed on as an exclusive columnist for The Independent throughout the World Cup.

Hugely familiar with all the ins-and-outs of an England squad containing many of her closest friends, you could not wish for a more-connected columnist and she'll have plenty to ruminate on through the competition:

Harry Latham-Coyle9 June 2019 16:22
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This World Cup is seen as a tournament that could bring women's football fully to the fore, and there are positive signs. Ticket sales have been, generally, good, television coverage will be better than ever and with the rapid improvement of the Women's Super League in England, the profile of the sport has, arguably, never been higher.

But...

Harry Latham-Coyle9 June 2019 16:26
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Those more connected with the game than I have accused FIFA of blustering and blathering about the tournament, insisting they are making progress without truly delivering to the extent suggested. 

Indeed, there have been some rather worrying stories over the lack of advertising in Paris particularly, and the sport-watching public in France haven't necessarily been energised in the way they might have been.

But in Nice, today, at least, something resembling a full house is anticipated with Scotland particularly brining plenty of colour to the French Riviera. Plenty of travelling England fans, too.

Half-an-hour to go...

Harry Latham-Coyle9 June 2019 16:31

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