England Times

Karen Bardsley clatters into Carolina Arias as she blocks the ball with her face.

GOAL!!! England 2-0 Colombia (Williams, 38 mins)

Fara Williams steps up to double England’s lead as she scores her penalty goal. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/FIFA via Getty Images

PENALTY TO ENGLAND!

Louise Taylor has been in Canada these past few weeks sipping on maple syrup and avoiding sour toe cocktails – yes they really are a thing, just Google them there, they come from Dawson City in the Yukon* – as well as writing about why England face Colombia with an uncertain World Cup future ahead of them. Here is what she had to say:

Whatever happens beneath the closed roof of Montreal’s cavernous Olympic Stadium on Wednesday night no one can accuse Mark Sampson of being ill-prepared.

England’s coach knows that a win against Colombia in their final Group F game could potentially offer his side an easier passage through the knockout stages of Canada 2015.

A point could assure progression to the last 16 but the 32-year-old has still spent hours poring over shaky camera phone footage of Las Cafeteras provided by David Gough, the squad’s chief opposition analyst.

“Women’s football is still at the stage where it’s incredibly difficult to get hold of proper footage of teams like Colombia, ” says Sampson. “Our head of analysis has gone out there six times to watch them live but all he had was a camera phone so it made it very difficult. I don’t think I’d know how to film a match on a phone but Dave’s done a great job trekking round the world and getting a few more stamps in his passport.”

“Watching the first two games, what we’ve been fed back from Goughy is becoming very clear, ” says England’s coach. “We’re in a better place than if we’d had to play them first.”

Not that an England win is exactly simple. “This is a dangerous Colombian team, ” says Sampson. “Emotionally they’re now in a fantastic place. They’ve beaten the favourites and they’ve got a huge confidence boost. You can feel their energy. They’ve got tremendous national pride and they’re well placed to qualify. They’re resolute, very strong physically and they’re going to be really tough opponents.


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