England praised despite suffering World Cup blow

 
Ross McLean
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ENGLAND head coach Mark Sampson lauded his side’s performance in their Women’s World Cup opener despite slipping to an uninspiring 1-0 defeat to France yesterday.

Striker Eugenie Le Sommer scored the only goal of the game on 29 minutes, while England’s best chances fell to midfield duo Katie Chapman and Jill Scott.

While France are widely tipped to dominate Group F, England now face clashes against Mexico and Colombia as they bid to win their own mini-league and progress in the tournament.

“That was a superb England performance,” said Sampson. “I thought we managed the first half superbly. You are always vulnerable to a counter when you encourage your team to try and play the ball out of defence like we do.

“But the longer the half went on, there was only one team that was going to score to get back into it.”

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