Women's World Cup: The story so far
The eighth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup is in full swing over in France, and Manchester United players have been in the thick of the action during the course of its first weekend.
The tournament opened in Paris on Friday evening, when the hosts France swept to a comprehensive 4-0 win over South Korea at Paris Saint-Germain’s Parc des Princes.
There were wins for Norway, Germany and Spain on Saturday against Nigeria, China and South Africa respectively, before Italy overcame Australia with a late winner and Brazil beat Jamaica on Sunday.
But United fans had to wait for the weekend's final contest to catch a glimpse of our players, with Casey Stoney’s title-winning outfit well represented in Group D’s opening clash between England – managed by Treble hero Phil Neville – and Scotland.
United captain Alex Greenwood harries Scotland goalscorer Claire Emslie.
The game, which was watched by 6.1 million viewers in the UK – a record for women's football – finished 2-1 to England, and four United Women stars were on the field when the referee blew for full-time.
Our captain, Alex Greenwood, played the entirety of the game at left-back for the Lionesses, while prospective new signing Abbie McManus – who has agreed to join from Manchester City – was introduced in the 55th minute for Chelsea’s Millie Bright.
Scotland chose to send on full-back Kirsty Smith at the same point and, in the closing minutes, the Scots also called for 23-year-old Reds winger Lizzie Arnot.
A penalty from Lyon's Nikita Parris gave Neville’s team the lead in the 14th minute, before City's Ellen White stretched the lead to two.
However, Scotland battled back impressively in the second period and pulled a goal back through Claire Emslie with just over 10 minutes remaining.
But the Lionesses held on to claim all three points, and topped their group ahead of Argentina’s meeting with Japan on Monday afternoon.
Next, England meet Argentina in Le Havre on Friday (kick-off 20:00 BST) and then play their final Group D match against Japan in Nice the following Wednesday (kick-off 20:00 BST).
Kirsty Smith battles with England striker Nikita Parris.
Scotland’s schedule pits them against the Japanese on Friday in Rennes (kick-off 14:00 BST), and they conclude their group-stage programme at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday 20 July when they face Argentina (kick-off 20:00 BST).
United’s only non-British representative in the tournament is Jackie Groenen, who has a pre-contract agreement to join the club for 2019/20 from FFC Frankfurt. Groenen is a Dutch midfielder who was part of the Netherlands squad that clinched the 2017 UEFA Women’s Championship.
The Oranje begin their tilt for World Cup glory on Tuesday afternoon, when they play New Zealand in Le Havre (14:00 BST).
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