England Women 4-0 Bosnia Women: England mark Mo Marley's competitive debut with victory

England's Steph Houghton celebrates scoring her second goal against Bosnia
Image: England's Steph Houghton celebrates scoring her second goal against Bosnia

Steph Houghton scored twice as England Women made it two wins from two in World Cup qualifying by beating Bosnia Women 4-0 at the Banks’s Stadium on Friday evening.

The skipper nodded England in front after goalkeeper Almina Hodzic's error (19), but the well-organised visitors went into the break just a goal down.

It took Nikita Parris just 42 seconds to make it two after the restart when she nodded home (47), before Houghton added her second with a clever free-kick (54).

Fran Kirby marked her stellar performance with a late penalty (83) to wrap up the win, taking England's tally to 10 unanswered goals in their qualifying campaign.

Team news

Mo Marley made five changes from the side that lost 1-0 against France last month, leaving star striker Jodie Taylor on the bench for the visit of Bosnia.

England took the lead from a goalkeeping error; Dan Carter wrong-footed Andjela Seslija, Hodzic flapped at the cross, leaving skipper Houghton the easy task of guiding a tame header into an empty net.

England's Toni Duggan is faced by Amira Spahic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Image: Amira Spahic was lucky to escape without a booking after she hauled Dan Carter to the floor

Melisa Hasanbegovic and Lidija Kulis contributed a number of crucial last-ditch blocks as England attacked for the majority of the half but the score remained at just 1-0 at the break.

England scored their second goal one minute after the restart when Parris ghosted past her marker to nod Toni Duggan's cross in at Hodzic's near post.

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Eight minutes later, Houghton exposed the Bosnia stopper once again when she took advantage of a poorly-constructed wall to tuck a low free-kick into the bottom right corner. From then on it was plain-sailing.

Mo Marley
Image: Interim boss Mo Marley secured victory in her first competitive match in charger

Though Amira Spahic somehow evaded a caution when she hauled Carter to the floor, minutes later Kulis executed the same move and conceded a penalty that Kirby dispatched with ease to cap the rout - her 100th senior goal in just 102 games for club and country.

Player of the match - Steph Houghton

It wasn't just her two goals that impressed, it was her ability to lead by example - in expert fashion. Playing a high line gave the skipper space to deliver passes over the Bosnia defence for players - in particular Nikita Parris - to latch on to and her defensive work was impressive throughout.

What's next?

Next up for England is the visit of Kazakhstan on Tuesday, at Colchester's Weston Homes Community Stadium

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