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England 2 (Taylor 1, Kirby 10) China 1 (Wang 17)
att: 5,665; at the Academy Stadium, Manchester
England's last home friendly before this summer's FIFA Women's World Cup Finals ended in victory with two early goals after they came flying out of the traps at the Academy Stadium.
Mark Sampson made two changes to the team which started the Cyprus Cup Final with Jade Moore and Fran Kirby coming in, whilst Jordan Nobbs once again wore the captain's armband in the absence of Steph Houghton.
The game could not have started better for England as they opened the scoring after just 59 seconds of play. Kirby broke down the left and crossed for strike partner Jodie Taylor to guide a shot home for her fourth international goal.
The in-form Kirby was to go from provider to goalscorer within nine minutes following a ball into the area from Nobbs, hitting a shot on the turn which sailed past Yue Zhang and into the roof of the net.
It could have been three shortly afterwards as a clearance from Yue went straight to Jade Moore who returned the ball goalwards but her shot came back off the woodwork.
However after England's fast start, China pulled themselves together and reduced the arrears on the 17 minute mark. Wang Shuang's corner was not cleared by the England defence and Shanshan Wang was on hand to head past Siobhan Chamberlain.
The pace of the game inevitably slowed and chances were fewer for either side. Indeed it was China who came closest to levelling the scores after being awarded a free kick around 25 yards from goal and Li Donga's strike brought out a good save from Chamberlain.
England tried to pick up the pace again from the start of the second half and the lively Kirby was inevitably involved again, her strike being saved by Yue following good work by Moore.
China were still looking sharp themselves when going forward and Chamberlain was again called upon to make a save from an angled shot by Shuang Wang.
Just after the hour mark, Toni Duggan made her return to the side from injury on her home ground and almost made a quick impact as she met a Nobbs cross with a header which flew straight at Yue.
As the game wore on, China pressed hard for an equaliser but England stood firm and closed the game out to depart for Canada on a winning note.
England: Siobhan Chamberlain, Alex Scott, Claire Rafferty (sub Casey Stoney 62mins), Fara Williams, Laura Bassett, Alex Greenwood, Jordan Nobbs, Jill Scott (sub Ellen White 90mins), Jodie Taylor (sub Lianne Sanderson 79mins), Fran Kirby (sub Eniola Aluko 72mins), Jade Moore (sub Toni Duggan 62mins). Subs not used: Demi Stokes, Karen Bardsley, Gemma Bonner, Jo Potter, Katie Chapman, Jss Clarke, Carly Telford, Anita Asante, Gemma Davison, Natasha Dowie.
China: Yue Zhang, Jiali Tang (sub Rui Zhang 45mins), Shanshan Liu, Shanshan Wang, Haiyan Wu (sub Rong 55mins), Donga Li, Yanlu Xu (sub Han Peng 66mins), Jan Ma, Shuang Wang, Ruyin Tan, Guixin Ren. Subs not used: Jiayue Li, Ying Li, Li Yang, Shimeng Wang, Qi Gao, Jiahui Lei, Lisi Wang.
Photos by Julian Barker:
(top) Jodie Taylor gives England the lead
(middle) Leanne Sanderson up against three Chinese defenders
(bottom) Laura Bassett dispossesses Shanshan Wang
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