England U21 Women suffer opening defeat

Hannah Martin, England U21 v Spain, July 27 2013, by Frank Uijlenbroek - 450

England Under-21 Women were left disappointed after losing out 5-0 to Spain in their opening match of the ERGO Junior World Cup in Germany on Saturday.

Despite playing strongly in many areas, England couldn’t stop Spain notching up a big win which could prove crucial later in the competition in one of the tightest groups of the tournament.

Head Coach Craig Keegan said: “We’re all very disappointed with the result. However, the scoreline doesn’t paint the true picture.

“Our structure and game plan were both executed well, which can be seen by the high number of circle penetrations created (almost double that of Spain). However, naïve defending against the potential of counter attacks was our downfall.

“I anticipate this being a very tight group, so now we must pick the girls up and prepare for tomorrow’s game against Belgium.”

Spain took the lead after just five minutes when Carola Salvatella tapped in after England’s defence was found wanting, and she doubled their lead on 19 minutes from a quick break.

England battled for a way back into the game, but instead Spain extended their lead on 39 minutes with Patricia Marana scoring from a straight strike into the bottom right corner.

And a minute later, a fourth goal followed with a powerful drive from the middle of the circle from Berta Bonastre.

Josie Inverdale fired wide with a penalty shot shortly after, and instead Spain added to their tally on 59 minutes, Maria Tost scoring with a long ball into the let from the top of the circle.

* The above photograph shows Hannah Martin on the attack against Spain. Pic: Frank Uijlenbroek.