Earps and Toone help England beat Denmark
Manchester United players both past and present played their part in England's nervy 1-0 victory over Denmark at the Women’s World Cup.
England boss Sarina Wiegman made two changes from the side which scraped past Haiti by the same scoreline in their opening match and both players who came in made an instant impact. Makeshift left-back Rachel Daly freed former United forward Lauren James, who curled in a sensational strike from 20 yards, in just the sixth minute.
United’s Ella Toone, starting for the second successive game, played well in a midfield three and linked up well with James, in particular, throughout, before being replaced by Lauren Hemp in the 76th minute. Toone, wearing no.10 for her country, had a shot saved by Denmark keeper Lyne Christensen in the first half and hooked an effort over the bar from inside the box shortly after the break.
Reds keeper Mary Earps, who was instrumental in the win over Haiti, also proved her worth again with important saves to deny Pernille Harder in the first half and Katrine Veje in the second period.
There was a blow for England towards the end of the first half when Barcelona midfielder Keira Walsh was carried off on a stretcher with what appeared to be a serious knee injury, which could potentially present an opportunity for game-time for United’s Katie Zelem, who was again an unused substitute.
Along with the impressive James, two other former Reds were involved from the start as Alex Greenwood excelled in central defence and Alessia Russo led the line for 76 minutes.
England had to survive a late scare at the Sydney Football Stadium when Amalie Vangsgaard, who scored Denmark’s late winner against China in their previous outing, headed against a post.
But the Lionesses held on and can book their place in the last 16 if China fail to beat Haiti in Friday’s later match, before their final Group D game against China on Tuesday in Adelaide (kick-off 12:00 BST).
NEXT UP AT THE WOMEN’S WORLD CUP
On Sunday, Reds midfielder Vilde Boe Risa could feature again for Norway, who need to beat the Philippines in their third and final Group A match (kick-off 08:00 BST) to stand any chance of progressing to the knockout stage.
Then, on Monday, defender Jayde Riviere and forward Adriana Leon could be involved again for Canada when they take on Australia (kick-off 11:00 BST) looking to secure their passage from Group B.
Reds in greenGallery
Our women's team were rocking the new away look on photoshoot day - check out these images!