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Portugal Women vs England Women. Women's European Championship Group A.

Koning Willem II Stadion.

Portugal Women 1

    England Women 2

      Portugal Women 1-2 England Women: Toni Duggan and Nikita Parris score to set up France showdown

      Dan Long

      Friday 28 July 2017 08:01, UK

      TILBURG, NETHERLANDS - JULY 27:  Nikita Parris of England celebrates with team mate Toni Duggan after scoring her team's second goal of the game during the
      Image: Nikita Parris and Toni Duggan scored for England

      England Women set up a Euro 2017 quarter-final showdown with France as they secured Group D top spot with a 2-1 win over Portugal in Tilburg.

      A much-changed Lionesses side required just a solitary point to progress as Group D winners and started brightly as Toni Duggan seized on a defensive error to open the scoring after seven minutes.

      Ten minutes later, an invigorated Portugal side drew level after great combination work from Diana Silva and Carolina Mendes, with the latter tapping past Siobhan Chamberlain from close-range.

      Inside 180 seconds of the restart, Nikita Parris capped her first tournament start for England as she poked home a solo effort after latching onto Izzy Christiansen's forward pass and from there it was comprehensive for Mark Sampson's side who become the first England side to progress from their group with a 100 per cent record

      Following their 6-0 drubbing of rivals Scotland and 2-0 victory over Spain, there was a real sense of confidence emanating from the England camp.

      Despite the clean sheets, England were put through their paces by the Spaniards and boss Mark Sampson altered his starting line-up for the first time in the tournament, making ten changes - just Chelsea's Millie Bright retained her place.

      England's midfielder Millie Bright  (L) vies with  Portugal's forward Carolina Mendes during the UEFA Women's Euro 2017 football tournament between Portuga
      Image: England's Millie Bright vies with Portugal forward Carolina Mendes

      His risk reaped the rewards just seven minutes in when Barcelona-bound Duggan marked her 50th cap with a goal, seizing on Patricia Morais' scuffed clearance; turning and curling a shot over the stranded stopper into the net.

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      The goal seemed to spur on the Portuguese side who applied pressure on the right flank and they forced their way back into the game as Mendes and Silva linked up, with the latter converting Silva's cross from close range at the second attempt.

      Taking the changes into account, England looked uncomfortable for large swathes of the first half but started the second half with renewed vigour and retook the lead less than 180 seconds after the restart.

      Izzy Christiansen's lofted pass was brought down by Parris, whose tenacity paid off as she rounded off a battling solo effort by slotting through Morais' legs.

      From thereon in, Portugal offered precious little and gave Chamberlain a relatively simple ride in the England goal; Dolores' well-struck free-kick inched wide perhaps their best chance.

      Not the most-well rounded performance from the Lionesses, but with the overwhelming majority of the squad now boasting game time, Sampson's side will face France on Sunday in a highly-confident manner.

      Player of the match - Nikita Parris

      In her first tournament start for England, the Manchester City striker showed real grit and determination despite coming up against a Portugal side defending in huge numbers for large chunks of the game.

      She eventually got rewarded for her battling efforts at the forefront of the Lionesses' attack with a well-taken goal after latching onto Izzy Christiansen's smart pass and poking past Patricia Morais.

      What's next?

      Mark Sampson's Lionesses will now face the Group C runners-up, France - a side they haven't won against since 1974 - on Sunday evening, competing for a place in the Euro 2017 semi-final

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