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England 2 (Carney 15, Williams pen 35) Colombia 1 (Andrade 90)
England completed the job of qualifying for the Second Round of the World Cup as first half goals from Karen Carney and Fara Williams saw them to victory in Montreal.
After producing their best form so far in the first half, England needed to be watchful after the break but despite conceding an injury time goal for the second match in a row, Mark Sampson's side safely negotiated the group stages and Norway await in the last sixteen on Monday.
Sampson once again rang the changes with Jordan Nobbs and Casey Stoney making their first appearances while Alex Scott, Alex Greenwood and Karen Carney all came into the starting line up.
Eager to build on the victory over Mexico three days earlier, England began the game in attacking fashion, determined to press their opponents as high up the pitch as possible and this put Colombia on the back foot in the opening stages.
Despite England's bright start though, it was Colombia who created the first chance after a superb piece of skill from Lady Andrade took her past Jordan Nobbs and Alex Scott before cutting the ball back for Daniela Montoya who fired her shot over the bar.
A well worked corner led to England's first opportunity, the ball was laid back to Fara Williams who crossed for Alex Scott to nod back across goal but Casey Stoney's effort was off target.
Two minutes later though, England were ahead after being awarded a free kick for handball. Steph Houghton's shot was parried by Sandra Sepulveda and Karen Carney followed up to slot home from the rebound.
England sought to build on their good start with Carney pulling the strings in attack and Jade Moore justifying her inclusion with some typically strong tackles in the midfield area.
The talented Andrade was a big danger for Colombia though and she served notice of her ability by escaping the attentions of two opponents but her shot was off target from the edge of the area.
England kept up the pressing game and it drew them the chance to double their lead. Following a foul on Moore outside the area, Houghton's free kick ricocheted around in the area and the ball struck the arm of a sliding Nataly Arias and a penalty was awarded. It looked a generous decision at best but Fara Williams gratefully accepted the gift and confidently drilled her kick into the corner of the net.
Arias tried to make up for the penalty with a header which went wide from a Catalina Usme. Colombia finished the half strongly and a superb chipped pass from Diana Ospina picked out Arias in the area, Karen Bardsley coming off her line to make an excellent point blank save to deny her. Ospina also had a shot blocked before England finally got the ball away to preserve their two-goal lead going into the interval.
There was early work to do after the break for the England back four when Andrade again teased a couple of players in the area before teeing up Natalia Gaitan whose shot was charged down. Back came England a few minutes later, Moore threading a good pass into the path of Alex Scott but her effort was off target.
Carney and Kirby were withdrawn early in the second half with Lianne Sanderson and Jo Potter coming on as Mark Sampson looked to freshen things up, but without the excellent Carney in particular, England did lose their fluency going forward and were never quite the same force as an attacking unit.
Yoreli Rincon was inches wide with a strike from 30 yards and Bardsley did well to punch away a dangerous looking cross by Ospina as Colombia began to look more threatening. England, although beginning to look more tired as the half wore on, still had opportunities themselves, Nobbs' ball into the area picking out Lianne Sanderson whose shot lacked power.
Sanderson was presented with another chance when a poor clearance by Carolina Arias went straight to her but this time her well struck shot was turned over the bar by Sepulveda.
For the second game running, England conceded in injury time to give themselves an uncomfortable ending to the game. Montoya's ball over the defence picked out Andrade whose lob over Bardsley went in off the post.
There was no time for Colombia to launch another attack though and England can now set their sights on the knockout phase and the challenge of Norway.
England: Karen Bardsley, Alex Scott, Alex Greenwood, Fara Williams, Casey Stoney, Steph Houghton, Karen Carney (sub Lianne Sanderson 55mins), Jordan Nobbs, Toni Duggan (sub Jodie Taylor 80mins), Fran Kirby (sub Jo Potter 65mins), Jade Moore.
Colombia: Sandra Sepulveda, Nataly Arias, Natalia Gaitan, Diana Ospina (sub Leicy Santos 82mins), Carolina Arias, Daniela Montoya, Catalina Usme (sub Ingrid Vidal 57mins), Lady Andrade, Orianica Velasquez, Yoreli Rincon (sub Tatiana Ariza 74mins), Angela Clavijo.
Player of the match: Fara Williams.
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