In order to win their second Arnold Clark Cup game, England overcame a scare from Italy in Coventry thanks to two goals from Rachel Daly.
In lieu of Alessia Russo of Manchester United, the 31-year-old striker for Aston Villa made two important headers either side of halftime.
Daly made it 1-0 when he headed in Katie Robinson’s cross, but Italy stunned the hosts when Sofia Cantore controversially headed in a cross that appeared to be out of play to draw the score.
At the CBS Arena, there was no goalline technology to support the Lionesses’ appeals, including those of defender Maya Le Tissier, who had dropped in to try to block the cross.
Daly, who had once again made a significant contribution, headed home a cross from replacement Lauren James as England recovered to regain the lead.
Has Daly made a case for being England’s ninth player?
Reaction to England defeating Italy
“I haven’t seen the returned film, but that isn’t really significant. We had to proceed and score a second goal because the decision had already been taken, according to manager Sarina Wiegman.
You must continue because there is no video assistant referee and the goal may have been out of bounds.
After netting her second in front of 32,128 spectators – a record crowd for a sporting event at the arena – Daly left to a standing ovation, and England easily held on to make it two wins from two in the tournament they won last year.
Only five months before the Women’s World Cup, Wiegman’s team will defend their title if they defeat Belgium in their final match on Wednesday in Bristol.
Italy will play South Korea after losing to Belgium by a razor-thin margin of 2-1.
Later on Sunday, Belgium, who is presently second in the group on goal differential, defeated Korea 2-1 to set up a championship matchup with England.
England is put to the test as Daly once more demonstrates her abilities.
Under Wiegman, Daly has been a frequent starter but has primarily been employed as a left-back rather than her natural attacking position for her club.
It has been difficult for the England manager to ignore her exceptional performance for Villa this season, where she has scored 10 goals in 13 Women’s Super League games.
In the first triumph versus South Korea, Daly replaced forward Russo as a sub. She started at Coventry, getting another chance to shine in her favorite position.
She ended up being the game’s deciding factor with her two goals, although she should have had more after missing many headers in both half and troubling the Italian defense with her high pushing.
Overall, England was in total control, but they were put to the test more than they had been against South Korea in their 4-0 victory because goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck had to make an early stop from Valentina Giacinti.
When Giacinti nearly escaped with a ball over the top, defender Alex Greenwood, who was made captain in Leah Williamson’s place as an unused substitute, had to use her speed to make a recovery tackle.
Italy’s ability to move quickly caused some issues, and their goal put England’s nerve to the test.
Nonetheless, Wiegman will be happy with her team’s answer because they extended their unbeaten streak to 28 games and are in a good position to win a third straight tournament under the Dutchwoman’s leadership.
She remarked, “I think it’s a good [lesson].” “They tied the score when we had the game under control, but we slightly lost control at that point.
Learning was excellent, but you obviously don’t want to give up because that’s how the game is played.