England 1-0 France: Jodie Taylor keeps Lionesses' Euro dream alive with historic win

The tournament's top scorer Jodie Taylor's second half goal sees England pick up a historic win over France.

England 1-0 France: Jodie Taylor keeps Lionesses' Euro dream alive with historic win
Jodie Taylor celebrates beating France with the England fans. Photo: Maja Hitij/Getty Images
England
1 0
France
England: Bardsley (Chamberlain, min.75); Bronze, Houghton, Bright, Stokes; Nobbs, Moore, Jill Scott; Kirby, Taylor, White.
France: Bouhaddi; Houara, Georges, Bathy, Karchaoui; Diani (Thomis, min.65), Geyoro, Henry, Abily (Lavogez, min. 78); Delie (Le Bihan, min. 90), Le Sommer.
SCORE: 1-0, min. 60, Taylor.
REFEREE: Esther Staubli (SUI). Admonished Jill Scott (min. 33), Taylor (min. 62), Bathy (min. 81)
INCIDENTS: UEFA Women's Euro 2017 Quarter-Final between, England, and, France. The match was played at Stadion De Adelaarshorst, Deventer.

Jodie Taylor's fifth goal of the UEFA Women's Euro 2017 saw a gutsy England beat France for the first time since 1974 to reach the semi-finals of the tournament.

Taylor ended a 43-year-long wait for a win over France with her strike on the hour enough to seal England's progression to the final four in Deventer.

The build-up to the game was dominated by the comments between the respective managers, Mark Sampson and Olivier Echouafni, but the quarter-final will be remembered for an even, exciting and tense game. 

Sampson's first tournament game for England came against France in the 2015 World Cup, which ended in a 1-0 defeat. Then, England set up defensively, even playing Lucy Bronze as a left-winger.

Two years later, Sampson's belief in his side was evident from the selection, picking the same starting eleven that had beaten Scotland and Spain.

On the other hand, France had come close to being knocked out in the group stage, requiring a 76th-minute equaliser from Camille Abily against Switzerland.

England threaten through set pieces

Almost immediately, England threatened from a Jordan Nobbs' free-kick, looking for Millie Bright, but France were rescued by brave goalkeeping from Sarah Bouhaddi.

England had started confidently with France looking to play on the counter – and in the early stages, the English defensive unit worked well together to snuff out the danger before a French player could get a shot off.

However, in the 11th minute, Marie-Laure Delie broke the offside trap and split the two English centre-backs, though she shot well wide.

England had a great opportunity from a Nobbs' free-kick, picking out Bright at the far post, but she couldn't find the target with her header.

 Scott to miss the semis

Jill Scott was booked midway through the first half for a reckless challenge on Amandine Henry, meaning that she will now miss the semi-final. It was a challenge where the referee could even have been justified in showing a red card.

England's predictability from Nobbs' free-kicks nearly cost them. Bouhaddi realised she was aiming for Bright, claimed the ball and then sent Eugenie Le Sommer through down the right wing. Her cross nearly picked out Delie, but Lionesses' captain Steph Houghton had recovered to head clear.

France started the second-half confidently. Delie had a glorious opportunity, but she miscontrolled at the crucial moment, allowing Bronze to clear.

Jessica Houara's cross picked out Le Sommer at the back post with a lovely early cross, but her header just crept wide from the far post.

Taylor scores the eventual winner

But despite France's dominance, England took the lead through a superb counter attack in the 60th minute.

Bronze broke through the middle of the park and she slid in Taylor, who beat Bouhaddi with a first-time shot, despite the 'keeper getting a touch to the ball.

France turn up the pressure

France could have immediately equalised from a corner through a speculative shot from Kadidiatou Diani was headed over from Bronze.

The resultant corner caused carnage, but somehow England survived with Karen Bardsley saving Delie's shot – with the keeper needing treatment, although at first, she was able to continue.  

Once again, Bronze had to be alert to clear a free-kick with Laura Georges lurking behind her at the far post. During this phase, Bardsley seemed to pick up an injury to her leg as she tried to adjust her balance.

To counter the French dominance, England moved to a 4-1-4-1 formation with Jade Moore playing as a holding midfielder and Fran Kirby on the right wing.

But France continued to threaten. Elodie Thomis broke into the box, beating Bright and Houghton in the box, but Moore was there to prevent Delie from having a tap-in. Moore then had to be alert to block a long-range Henry shot, when France unsuccessfully appealed for handball.

A rare England counter saw Nobbs set up Taylor, but her rushed shot was easily saved.

Bardsley has to be replaced

Bardsley's earlier injury meant that Siobhan Chamberlain had to replace the England 'keeper in the 75th minute – as she did when England beat Canada in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. Her first touch was to punch a cross clear, but it was hardly convincing as it nearly set up Delie. 

With ten minutes remaining of normal time, clever play from Taylor won England a corner, and whilst the initial ball was cleared, Bright had a chance on the edge of the box but fired over.

But it was still France with all the attacking momentum with England defends having to block two shots from French attackers. And then a 25-yard strike from Claire Lavogez just crept wide of the right post.

The tension rises

With just over a minute of normal time left, France won a free-kick in a dangerous position with Lavogez teeing up Henry, but her effort went well wide.

The Bardsley injury led to six minutes being added on. When England had possession, they aimed at trying to keep the ball at the French corner flag, instead of looking for a second goal.

A Houra cross looked like it was about to be headed in by Lavogez, but it deflected off Clarisse Le Bihan and into the grateful arms of Chamberlain.

England survived to reach the semi-final of the Euros and will now play the Netherlands for a place in the competition's final.

Women's Football