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Friday, August 19
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Jul 6, 2022 at 8pm UK at Old Trafford
England Women
1 - 0
Austria Women
Mead (16')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Result: England kick off Women's Euro 2022 with narrow Austria win

:Headline: Result: England kick off Women's Euro 2022 with narrow Austria win:
England Women begin their Euro 2022 campaign with a narrow 1-0 win over Austria Women in Group A at Old Trafford.
Sports Mole

England Women kicked off their Euro 2022 campaign in ideal fashion with a 1-0 win over Austria Women in front of a record 68,871-strong crowd at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening.

Off the back of a stellar Women's Super League season with Arsenal, Beth Mead scored the only goal of the game to get the Lionesses off to the perfect start in Group A, although the hosts were far from their best at the Theatre of Dreams.

Austria were not afraid to deploy a high press in the early exchanges, and Leah Williamson was nearly made to pay for a lackadaisical pass inside the penalty area which gifted Irene Fuhrmann's side a corner, but Millie Bright was on hand to head clear.

Ellen White's first sight of goal for England came in the 10th minute of the contest after Bright's stunning pass found Lauren Hemp, whose cross found the head of White, but the 33-year-old could only lift a header into the arms of Manuela Zinsberger before Hemp's own header sailed over the bar.

Sarina Wiegman's side soon found their groove and made it count in the 16th minute, as Mead latched onto Fran Kirby's lofted pass before lobbing Arsenal teammate Zinsberger, and the ball just crossed the line before Carina Wenninger cleared off the crossbar to no avail.

White was presented with a magnificent chance to double the Lionesses' lead in the 26th minute but diverted her header just wide of the post, and the record goalscorer nearly turned provider for Hemp to strike on the stroke of half time, although Zinsberger stood firm.

The resulting corner came to nothing as Wiegman's side were forced to settle for a 1-0 half-time lead, despite dominating the ball with 61% possession.

The Lionesses continued to pile on the pressure in the opening stages of the second half without finding a real clinical edge, as White, Kirby and Georgia Stanway both squandered half-chances before the hour mark.

Alessia Russo, Ella Toone and Chloe Kelly were all introduced to try to add an energetic spark to England's attack, and Kelly would burst forward on the counter-attack in the 76th minute before dragging a tame effort wide.

Austria started to threaten the England backline as the game entered its final knockings, as Mary Earps was forced into a strong save from Barbara Dunst before getting down low to thwart Julia Hickelsberger.

The hosts stood firm in the final few moments to hold on for the victory and immediately rise to top spot in Group A, and the Lionesses now prepare for Monday's clash with Norway at the Amex Stadium.

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