11 November 2022

Jess Park puts a satisfying seal on another win for the Lionesses

11 November 2022

Jess Park scored just seconds into her England debut as Sarina Wiegman’s side eased to a 4-0 friendly win over Japan in Spain.

Rachel Daly’s goal had given England a half-time lead and the European champions turned on the style after the break as Chloe Kelly and Ella Toone struck before 21-year-old substitute Park wrapped things up in the last minute of the 90.

The Lionesses are now unbeaten in their last 25 outings, with preparations for next summer’s World Cup well on track.

Japan, ranked 11th in the world, were seen as providing a unique technical challenge to test England, but it was one they comfortably dealt with.

Wiegman had been forced into changes with Lauren Hemp, Alex Greenwood and Lucy Bronze injured while Fran Kirby missed out through illness, but England showed growing depth as Esme Morgan and Niamh Charles made their first starts.

England dominated possession in the early stages but had little to show for it other than Toone’s effort from distance which was saved by Ayaka Yamashita.

Japan threatened in the 19th minute when Manchester City’s Yui Hasewaga tried her luck from the edge of the box but Mary Earps was down smartly to her left and held on.

England stepped up their threat in response. Alessia Russo should have scored when she got her head on to Chloe Kelly’s inswinging cross but could only find the outside of the post.

Toone had a spring in her step after signing a new Manchester United deal this week. She pounced on a mistake from Moeke Minami to play in Beth Mead, but the Arsenal player was denied a goal on her 50th cap as Yamashita got down quickly.

Kelly then sent in another dangerous cross which just missed Mead, but Japan could not clear the danger properly as Daly arrived to snatch the ball and apply a sweeping left-footed finish.

Having taken the lead seven minutes before the break, England doubled their advantage seven minutes after it.

Mead had thrown her hands up in frustration when her cross from the right narrowly missed the run of Russo but she, like Japan, had not spotted Kelly arriving at the far post and the Manchester City forward swept the ball in.

Kelly then tried to double up on the hour mark, cutting in from the left but lashing a shot over the crossbar to the frustration of Georgia Stanway in the centre.

Stanway then teed up Russo but she could not get enough power as she shot on the turn, and that was her final act as she and Kelly were replaced by Lauren James and Ebony Salmon.

The substitutes quickly combined to set up the third goal. James drove from midfield and when her pass towards Stanway was cut out, it fell for Salmon to tee up Toone for the goal.

Salmon was again the provider for the fourth, robbing Moeke of possession in the corner before cutting the ball back for Park to make an immediate impact.

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