ngland cruised to a 4-0 win over Japan to notch up yet another commanding win under Sarina Wiegman’s watch. In the 25th game of the Dutchwoman’s tenure, the Lionesses added another more goals to a tally that already stood at 120, roughly five goals a game, despite a number of enforced changes.
The penultimate game of what has been a historic calendar year threatened to be a difficult one. Paired against stern opposition and a far more low-key affair than even some of the recent friendlies in the post-Euro 2022 haze, a raft of enforced absences naturally offered some concern.
They, however, to be misplaced. While stalwarts such as Rachel Daly, Mille Bright and Mary Earps shone once again, all of Chloe Kelly, Lauren James and Ebony Salmon pressed their cases for more regular involvement in a dominant display. Quick in their passing around an intense press, it was their work off the ball that frustrated a Japanese team rightly lauded before the game. Still, impressive as it was, the best moment in the game came during the dying embers when debutant Jess Park tapped in a fourth to underline the fact there’s much more to come from this talented pool of players.
FT: England 4-0 Japan
Formidable England cruise to commanding win in Murcia.
Daly, Kelly, Toone and debutant Park with the goals.
GOAL! England 4-0 Japan | Jess Park ‘89
89:00 – Wow, seconds after coming on for her debut, Jess Park taps in a fourth!
Big night for Jess Park
87:00 – The Everton loanee comes on for Stanway.
GOAL! England 3-0 Japan | Ella Toone ‘73
73:00 – Brilliant team goal carves Japan open as Lauren James gives it to Salmon, who finds Toone. The forward then dinks the ‘keeper with her left foot.
So comfortable for England
66:00 – Aside from that snapshot in the first-half, Japan haven’t been able to muster anything.
So composed from England, both in keeping the ball and winning it back.
GOAL! England 2-0 Japan | Chloe Kelly ‘51
51:00 – Powerful finish from Kelly at the back post after Mead’s cross evades Russo.
49:00 – Toone sees a shot blocked as England’s quick-passing negates Japan’s high press.
Here we go! Three halves of football left for England in 2022.
England’s high press
42:00 – Japan have barely had a minute to settle all evening. Even with enforced changes, England look so impressive.