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European Qualifiers Group E

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European Qualifiers Group E

England too strong for Wales

Jordan Nobbs and Toni Duggan fired England to a comfortable 2-0 victory against Wales at The Den as Brent Hills preserved his 100 per cent record as caretaker manager.

Last Updated: 27/10/13 at 21:07 Post Comment

Toni Duggan: Scored England's second goal against Wales

Toni Duggan: Scored England's second goal against Wales

The Football Association is biding its time over naming the permanent successor to Hope Powell, who was axed from the role after the team's poor performance in Euro 2013, but Hills is making a strong case to stay in the post.

After three 2015 World Cup qualifiers, England's record shows three wins, with 16 goals scored and none conceded.

On the night of the Football Association's 150th anniversary celebrations across the River Thames in Holborn, England's women, a team that only came under the FA's control in 1993, never looked like being beaten and showed patience before making their second-half breakthrough.

The route to Canada in two years' time looks one England should negotiate with some comfort.

Wales defended with tenacity in the first half, but England still threatened.

Steph Houghton saw a free-kick pushed wide for a corner while playmaker Karen Carney forced Nicola Davies to turn an audacious 35-yard chip over the crossbar.

The Arsenal combination of Alex Scott, Nobbs and Ellen White combined skilfully just before half-time. Right-back Scott, venturing forward, cut the ball back to Nobbs and her floated pass forward almost landed on the head of White, but goalkeeper Davies was swiftly off her line.

Davies had to be equally sharp just a minute later when Eniola Aluko crossed from the right towards the far post where Carney, straining to reach the ball, put in a firm header that the goalkeeper adeptly blocked.

Wales were hindered by an arm injury sustained by captain Jess Fishlock early on. She was bandaged up and continued but was clearly in discomfort.

The Welsh resistance lasted only until the 48th minute when Scott's scuffed shot ran kindly into the path of Nobbs, and her clever looping shot from 15 yards went over Davies' head and into the net.

It was 2-0 nine minutes later as Duggan cracked a fine low shot into the bottom left corner from 15 yards.

Fishlock was substituted, before Wales momentarily threatened when Helen Ward drilled a low shot wide of the right post from 20 yards.

But England were able to cruise through the final half hour, taking off Aluko, White and Duggan ahead of Thursday's qualifier away to Turkey - a team Hills' players beat 8-0 in Portsmouth last month.

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