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England 1 (Taylor 60)
England are through to the knockout stages of the World Cup, with a group game to spare, after a goal on the hour from Jodie Taylor gave them victory in Le Havre.
The performance was much improved from the second half display against Scotland but England struggled to break down a stubborn Argentina defence for most of the match and in particular their inspired goalkeeper Vanina Correa who pulled off a string of fine saves, including a Nikita Parris penalty in the first half.
Phil Neville made four changes to the starting line up from that against Scotland, drafting in Carly Telford, Abbie McManus, Jade Moore and Taylor.
England's tactic of crossing the ball in from wide produced their first real chance on 12 minutes, Nikita Parris picking out Jill Scott whose header was saved by Correa.
A good free kick routine almost led to a breakthrough, ending with Lucy Bronze's header across goal being slid past her own post by Aldana Cometti. Five minutes later though and England had their second penalty of the finals, Beth Mead feeding Alex Greenwood in the area where she was clipped by Linda Bravo. Parris stepped up to take the kick but her shot brought out an excellent diving save from Correa, tipping the ball onto the post, Taylor followed up but sent her shot well wide.
Mead was next to have an opportunity as Fran Kirby won the ball from the Argentinian defence and slid a pass through to the Arsenal striker but she was foiled by Correa, who pulled off a good save with an outstretched leg.
A free kick on the left, early in the second half, was bundled away at the far post but only as far as Parris who fired goalwards from just inside the area but Correa again came to the rescue, parrying the ball away after it came through a crowd of players.
As the hour mark came, the breakthrough came after Argentina had been caught going forward. England immediately counter attacked with Scott carrying the ball forward, she and Kirby combined to find Mead on the left, where her low cross picked out Taylor to score from close range.
England had a great chance to double their lead after a cross from Parris was half cleared by the Argentinian defence. Greenwood returned the ball into the area, neatly clipping for an unmarked Scott but she headed over from six yards with only Correa to beat.
Argentina hit back with their first shot on target in the match, a 20-yard strike from Mariana Larroquette which was saved low down by Carly Telford, but there were no scares for England as they comfortably saw the game out for the result they required to guarantee themselves a top two place.
England: Carly Telford, Lucy Bronze, Alex Greenwood, Jade Moore, Steph Houghton, Abbie McManus, Nikita Parris (sub Rachel Daly 86mins), Jill Scott, Jodie Taylor, Fran Kirby (sub Karen Carney 88mins), Beth Mead (sub Georgia Stanway 80mins).
Argentina: Vanina Correa, Agustina Barruso, Eliana Stabile, Adriana Sachs, Lorena Benitez (sub Vanesa Santana 76mins), Aldana Cometti, Miriam Mayorga, Linda Bravo, Sole Jaimes (sub Yael Oviedo 89mins), Estefania Banini (sub Mariana Larroquette 67mins), Flor Bonsegundo.
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