England Women will draw the curtain on a historic calendar year with two friendlies, the first coming against Japan tonight. A stunning 2022 has seen the Lionesses win a first major international trophy after capturing Euro 2022 in the best possible fashion, before qualifying for the 2023 World Cup and beating rivals USA along the way.
With their busy schedule coming to a close, Sarina Wiegman has the chance to look at some newcomers into the squad. With the likes of Fran Kirby, Lucy Bronze, Alex Greenwood and Lauren Hemp all ruled out, Lottie Wubben-Moy, Niamh Charles and Maya Le Tissier should get a look in.
Japan, however, are strong themselves and should offer a stern test to a team who have so far overcome every hurdle put in front of them under Wiegman’s watch. Follow all of the action LIVE with Standard Sport’s match blog!
England’s high press
42:00 – Japan have barely had a minute to settle all evening. Even with enforced changes, England look so impressive.
GOAL! England 1-0 Japan | Racheal Daly ‘38
38:00 – Daly slides in England’s opener, finishing well with a side foot through the legs of a defender.
CHANCE FOR ENGLAND!
26:00 – Kelly delivers another brilliant ball to Russo, who hits the post with a glancing header.
Best move from England
22:00 – Wonderfully incisive cross from Kelly but Russo cannot quite get there. The most dangerous England have looked so far.
CHANCE FOR JAPAN!
20:00 – Hasegawa hits a snapshot from 20 yards but Earps saves well.
Great cover from Charles
15:00 – Miyazawa almost in behind the England defence but Charles gets across, adjusts her feet well and makes a vital challenge.
75% possession for England
13:00 – Not a huge amount of chances but England are bossing the game agaisnt stern opposition. Impressive way to (almost) end the year.
08:00 – Getting down the flanks, really quick from Walsh almost finds Mead to square to Russo, although the former is marginally offside.
Really confident start from England
06:00 – Japan pressing very quickly but England are dominating the ball and look happy to play at a higher tempo.
Russo almost in
04:00 – Ghosting into the box, Russo almost latches onto Mead’s through ball, though Japan clear.