England 1-0 Austria: White gets winner in Women’s World Cup qualifier – as it happened

The Guardian
The Guardian

2.45pm GMT

And that will be all. Congratulations to the Lionesses on grinding out a win against Austria, and congratulations also to Ellen White on her 100th cap, suitably marked with the winning goal. Barry Glendenning has the Saturday clockwatch here:

Related: Liverpool v Southampton and more: Saturday football clockwatch – live!

Updated at 2.46pm GMT

2.43pm GMT

Louise Taylor’s report from a chilly Sunderland has landed:

Related: Ellen White celebrates century with England’s winner against Austria

2.33pm GMT

Sarina Wiegman has a chat: “We created chances, we scored only one, but we had some hard moments in the game too ... the two saves from Mary [Earps] were such important moments ... that allowed us to keep playing and go for the second goal. We didn’t get it but still, we have a clean sheet, and that is fine.”

On Ellen White: “She’s such a professional, she’s such a team player, as you saw today ... she’s done that over and over for the national team, it’s very special.”

2.29pm GMT

Ellen White, the matchwinner, speaks to ITV: “It’s a dream really ... it’s come full circle which is really strange. To have made my debut against Austria, to now get my 100th cap against Austria, but for me, I just wanted the team to win. It was a really hard game but I’m so proud of the team, the way we stuck in there, a clean sheet, and obviously the three points, so yeah I’m really happy.

“They really came out of the blocks ... we just needed to be patient ... there were spells when we didn’t play our best football but we just stayed in the game.”

On the conditions: “Snow ... I couldn’t feel my face ... that’s the joy of playing up north.

“Fran Kirby is a dream to play alongside ... she’s a phenomenal player and we’re very proud that she’s English.

“I don’t like talking about it [Kelly Smith’s England scoring record] but I’m delighted to get on the scoresheet, so it’s an absolute dream for me, I’m really pleased.”

Updated at 2.37pm GMT

2.22pm GMT

England go five points clear at the top of the group. Fittingly, Ellen White scored the winner on the occasion of her 100th cap. Fran Kirby of Chelsea was exceptional in attack for England, and Bayern Munich’s centre-back Carina Wenninger was the pick of the Austria players.

It’s another win, and a deserved one, but Wiegman will ideally want her team to start being more clinical. Take nothing away from Austria, however, they held their shape impressively and some of their last-ditch defending was top class.

England face Latvia on Tuesday.

Updated at 6.35pm GMT

2.20pm GMT

Full-time! England 1-0 Austria

It was a test, and England passed.
England win. Photograph: Lynne Cameron - The FA/The FA/Getty Images

Updated at 2.31pm GMT

2.18pm GMT

90 min: Austria move forward in attack – Dunst has three teammates up with her – she chooses to shoot (I think) and the ball flies out harmlessly. She looks suitably disgusted after wasting a chance that could have snatched a point.

2.15pm GMT

88 min: White is suddenly clear in acres of space and bearing down on goal. Wenninger, who has been exceptional at the back, nicks the ball off her toe.

2.12pm GMT

85 min: England come forward again – Day hits a sweet shot from an angle which is flying into the bottom corner. Zinsberger dives down well, again, to beat it out. Kirby then gets her foot on the ball yet again in the penalty area and has time to try and pick a pass to a teammate on the edge of the box but it is intercepted.

Updated at 2.14pm GMT

2.10pm GMT

83 min: Hemp causes another nuisance for England on the left and bends an accurate cross towards White. Wenninger is well placed to clear.

Updated at 2.10pm GMT

2.07pm GMT

80 min: England build another solid attack, the ball drops to White around the penalty spot, and she hits a low shot which deflects out for a corner. Austria manage to clear the danger from the set-piece.
Ellen White and Austria goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger battle for the ball . Photograph: Zac Goodwin/PA

Updated at 2.16pm GMT

2.05pm GMT

78 min: For the first time during this campaign, there is some jeopardy for England here, as they approach the final 10 minutes of this qualifier. A draw would not be a satisfactory outcome given all the chances they have created. But Austria are battling away well and if they grabbed a point, it would be a reward for some very determined defending. With Austria threatening again, Billa is penalised for a foul on Greenwood.

Updated at 2.05pm GMT

2.02pm GMT

75 min: Hemp comes alive on the left, and lofts over a cross which Zinsberger punches clear with White in close attendance. But the flag is up.

2.00pm GMT

73 min: Billa tries to run on to a through pass for Austria in another warning for England. Seconds later, and Bright has another good ball to tidy up at the back. Wiegman would no doubt be much happier with a two-goal cushion here.

Updated at 2.01pm GMT

1.58pm GMT

71 min: Parris, who has just entered the fray, races on to a fine long ball out of defence from the captain, Bright. But she can’t quite get on the end of it.

1.57pm GMT

70 min: A touch of class from White, with her back to goal, laying off a sumptuous first-time volleyed pass, looking to play in Kirby who is lurking to her left. Now Nikita Parris comes on, Mead off.

Updated at 1.57pm GMT

1.53pm GMT

65 min: Kirby makes a lovely run through the middle with the Austria defence stretched. She slides a ball out to Mead, who has a shot which is blocked, and then has another go. Kirby looks frustrated in the middle, wanting a return pass. Seconds later there is more lovely footwork from Kirby who ghosts away from three defenders and wins a corner. Bright heads the set-piece wide. England are back on top after a shaky opening to the half.

Updated at 1.54pm GMT

1.50pm GMT

62 min: Stokes makes a strong run down the left, the referee playing advantage when she is fouled from behind. Wienerroither is booked for tugging Stokes’s shirt from behind, and then Ella Toone comes off for England, replaced by Georgia Stanway.

The weather, meanwhile, is abysmal, with what looks like snow or hail hammering down.

Updated at 1.50pm GMT

1.47pm GMT

57 min: England relieve the pressure by winning a free-kick in an advanced area, and then two corners in quick succession, the first of which so nearly leads to the second goal with a header flying wide. Mead is then brought down in the penalty area by Wenninger, and there are strong appeals for the penalty but the ref isn’t interested. Rain has started to pelt down which isn’t going to be fun for the players. Wienerroither comes on for Austria, in the place of Naschenweng.

Updated at 1.47pm GMT

1.41pm GMT

52 min: WHAT a save by Earps! Austria construct a three-on-two, and Zadrazil is then freed one-on-one with the keeper, and hits a right-footed shot which is destined for the top corner. Earps throws herself to her right and beats the shot out for a corner. She gets up, and urges her teammates on: “Come on!”

Updated at 1.44pm GMT

1.38pm GMT

50 min: Dunst hits a powerful effort from an angle, from outside the area, and nearly catches out Earps at her near post! That was flying into the net but Earps just manages to keep it out. Austria have started the second half pretty well, and that’s a warning for England. It was an excellent effort, and nearly cancelled out the lead that the Lionesses earned in the first half.

Updated at 1.38pm GMT

1.32pm GMT

Second half kick-off!

Here we go. Can England stretch their lead, make this game safe and go five points clear at the top of the group? Can White equal Kelly Smith’s record?

1.20pm GMT

Topical half-time reading after that stellar first-half showing from Fran Kirby:

Related: Fran Kirby: ‘It’s tough to do the things I do at Chelsea with England’

1.18pm GMT

Half-time! England 1-0 Austria

A good half from England. The visitors have shown little in attack but have defended excellently. England stuck to their task, kept creating chances and trying to stretch the Austria defence, and were rewarded seven minutes before half-time with Ellen White’s well-taken goal set up by Kirby, who has been the pick of England’s players, full of direct running and always looking to link with teammates or have a shot herself.
England get to half time one nil up. Photograph: Zac Goodwin/PA

Updated at 1.27pm GMT

1.16pm GMT

45 min: Kirby now cracks a low, powerful shot from the edge of the box which takes a nick off a defender ... Zinsberger dives low to her right to pull off a fantastic save!

1.13pm GMT

43 min: Hemp causes damage down the left wing again, crosses low, but Zinsberger gathers after White fails to connect.

1.12pm GMT

Goal! 38 min: England 1-0 Austria (White)

It’s there! Hemp crosses from the left and Kirby has a shot which is blocked by Kirchberger’s header. The ball comes straight back to Kirby, though, and she pokes it back across goal. White is perfectly positioned to belt the ball into the net from point-blank range. England deserve that goal – and it’s one White will remember, this being her 100th cap. She is now just one goal behind Kelly Smith’s all-time record! England had to show a bit of patience but they’ve worn down the Austria defence really well.
Ellen White of England shoots . Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
England’s Ellen White celebrates scoring their first goal . Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images/Reuters

Updated at 1.33pm GMT

1.08pm GMT

35 min: Demi Stokes nearly gets caught in possession by Dunst, in the England penalty area, but is fouled. England move forward, Mead finds space on the right yet again, and drills a good cross for White. Austria defend it well though, yet again. Austria’s defenders will be looking forward to a cup of tea at half-time, and if they can go in at 0-0 having soaked up a considerable amount of pressure, they’ll consider it a job well done for the first half.

Updated at 1.08pm GMT

1.04pm GMT

33 min: Dunst slides into a meaty challenge on the edge of Austria’s box which the referee lets go. Bright, the captain, finds herself with the ball in space and cracks a powerful shot from 25 yards which screams wide – Zinsberger looked worried for a second, though.

1.02pm GMT

31 min: England are on the front foot with consistency now. Mead bends a good cross to the far post, from the right wing, but again no one can get on the end of it. Positive stuff from England but no end product – yet.

Updated at 1.02pm GMT

12.59pm GMT

28 min: England stream down to the other end. Kirby plays a perceptive little pass with the outside of her right boot, looking for White who is making an angled run in behind. But Austria’s defenders, who have been by far the busier of the two sides’ rearguards, manage to deal with it.

Updated at 4.12pm GMT

12.57pm GMT

25 min: The England supporters’ band strikes up. Zadrazil gets a painful-looking kick from Toone, and wins a free-kick which Austria will launch into the penalty area. Dunst takes it, and Daly climbs to head clear.
England’s Lauren Hemp (centre right) with an attempt at goal . Photograph: Zac Goodwin/PA

Updated at 4.11pm GMT

12.54pm GMT

22 min: Mead gets free again, thanks to service from Kirby. She squares to White at the far post – Wenninger dives in brilliantly to clear – and White had strayed offside anyway.

12.52pm GMT

20 min: Austria win a free-kick in a handy spot on their right wing but England deal with it. Kirby, who has been superb so far, then sprints down the England right and knocks a nice ball inside to Mead. Mead’s touch is heavy though, and the move breaks down. The chances should come for England, they are building a bit of momentum now, but creating truly clear-cut opportunities is, as expected, a lot tougher than it has been in the qualifying campaign up until this point.

Updated at 12.52pm GMT

12.48pm GMT

15 min: From the resulting corner, Bright has a powerful shot blocked. The ball bounces up towards the goal mouth, where Mead tries to head it in, while Wienroither (standing on the goal line) tries to kick it. Mead goes down, and it was certainly a high foot by the Austrian, but thankfully Mead seems OK and there is no sanction from the referee either.

Updated at 4.08pm GMT

12.46pm GMT

14 min: Daly is booked for a cynical foul. England soon attack down the right, with Kirby flashing an excellent cross right across the six-yard box. There are three England players close by but no one can get on the end of it. The best chance of the match. England come again, and Kirby curls an even better ball to the far post. Wienroither does very well to clear.
Rachel Daly of England is challenged by Katharina Naschenweng of Austria Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Updated at 4.08pm GMT

12.44pm GMT

10 min: Verena Hanshaw gives away a free-kick for handball in a good position for England. Alex Greenwood hits a good shot goalwards but Zinsberger is right behind it and catches cleanly.

12.40pm GMT

9 min: Zadrazil is in the thick of the action for Austria, first making a good run to the near post trying to get on the end of a low cross from the left, then trying to play a good ball on to that same flank for a teammate.

12.37pm GMT

6 min: Walsh hits a nice early ball to Mead, who is initially in space in a central area near the Austria penalty area, but eventually she is crowded out. Hemp then bursts down the left, before Mead wins a corner on the other side. Encouraging signs for England.

Updated at 4.07pm GMT

12.36pm GMT

4 min: England, for the first time, get a bit of front-foot possession and advance towards the Austrian penalty area. There are two banks of defenders to deal with, who are set up in rigid fashion, and the early signs are that chances are going to be tricky to come by for Wiegman’s team.

12.33pm GMT

2 min: Austria take the corner short, which seems a bizarre option, and cough up a throw to England. A waste of a nice early opportunity for the visitors.

Updated at 4.06pm GMT

12.31pm GMT

First half kick-off!

We are under way at a cold and windy Stadium of Light. Austria attack immediately, down their right wing, showing their ability to compete strongly with this accomplished England team. They win a corner.

Updated at 4.06pm GMT

12.27pm GMT

The teams are lined up on the pitch. Ellen White is presented with her 100th cap. And it’s time for the anthems ...

12.16pm GMT

Millie Bright speaks to ITV: “It’s been pretty busy [since being named captain], but to a certain extent I’ve put it to one side. Two massive games ahead, we want to keep building ... that’s my main focus ... to make sure the standards are high and that we keep progressing and developing.

“It’s massive ... we want to be tested ... we want to keep a clean sheet ... it’s a big day ... It’s an incredible day for Ellen White [her 100th cap], an incredible achievement, the whole team is so proud of her and hopefully we can go out there and put on a good show.”

12.12pm GMT

World Cup qualifying news from last night:

Wales coasted to a 5-0 win over Greece in their Women’s World Cup qualifier in a wet and windy Llanelli. Skipper Sophie Ingle fired Wales into a seventh-minute lead with an assured side-footed finish from Jess Fishlock’s clever cutback. Kayleigh Green doubled the lead after 17 minutes when beating goalkeeper Anthi Papakonstantinou to an underhit back pass on the sodden surface.

Ceri Holland made it three before the break as her 20-yard shot slipped through the fingers of Papakonstantinou, and the Liverpool forward claimed her second after the restart with a superb strike from the edge of the area. Natasha Harding headed home the fifth from Rhiannon Roberts’ pinpoint cross after 64 minutes. Unbeaten Wales face their biggest test in qualification so far when they play Group I leaders France, ranked fifth in the world, in Brittany on Tuesday. (PA)
Wales celebrate. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA

12.09pm GMT

Suzanne Wrack takes a look at some key talking points before the Lionesses’ final two matches of the year:

Related: Defence, laughter and record in sight: key England Women talking points

12.04pm GMT


It’s a 4-3-3 for England with Rachel Daly and Demi Stokes coming into the side.

England: Earps; Daly, Stokes, Walsh, Greenwood; Bright (capt.), Mead, Kirby; White Toone, Hemp. Substitutes: Charles, MacIver, Stanway, Carter, Wubben-Moy, Parris, Nobbs, England, Scott, Hampton, Russo, Zelem.

Arsenal’s Manuela Zinberger is the most notable name on the team sheet for Austria, if you are a fan of the WSL:

Austria : Zinsberger, Naschenweng, Plattner, Wenninger (C), Dunst, Zadrazil, Wienroither, Kirchberger, Billa, Puntigam, Hanshaw. Substitutes: El Sherif, Pal, Horvat, Fuchs, Schiechtl, Triendl, Georgieva, Hobinger, Eder, Wienerroither, Schasching, Enzinger.

Updated at 12.31pm GMT

11.56am GMT

Sarina Wiegman , the England manager, speaks to ITV about Ellen White’s 100th cap: “To play 100 says everything about her, and her consistency to play at the highest level ... it’s going to be a really great experience for her, and for us too.”

On Millie Bright taking the captaincy: “We have some leaders in our group ... she had done well the first two int periods ... I had some good conversations with her, and she can lead the team, that’s why I made the decision.”

And on the blustery, cold conditions in Sunderland this afternoon: “In the Netherlands we have these conditions too ... we have to deal with it, I expected a little worse actually ... hopefully it doesn’t affect the game very much.”

11.48am GMT

Millie Bright has said she is “humbled and honoured” to have been asked to captain England for the World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Latvia.

Related: ‘A little bit stunned’: Millie Bright to captain England in qualifiers

11.30am GMT


England have cruised through World Cup qualifying thus far, winning 8-0 against North Macedonia , 10-0 against Luxembourg , 4-0 against Northern Ireland and 10-0 against Latvia . Today’s home encounter against Austria in Sunderland doesn’t look so straightforward: the visitors have won three out of four, along with a draw against Northern Ireland, scoring 21 goals and conceding three.

This is a proper test, then, against a side who would go top of Group D with a victory. But England won’t be lacking motivation, particularly Ellen White, the clinical finisher who plays her 100th match for her country at the Stadium of Light today. As well as becoming a cap centurion, White is now just two goals behind Kelly Smith’s all-time England scoring record of 46, although a goal-fest today seems unlikely given the calibre of the opponent.

It’s also a highly significant day for the Chelsea defender Millie Bright, who has been given the captain’s armband today and for Tuesday’s meeting with Latvia in Doncaster, where she began her professional career. That match in three days’ time, England’s final assignment of the year, is sure to be an emotional affair for Bright – but first she and the Lionesses will be focused on this afternoon, the toughest match England will have face in some time.

Pre-match reading, team news and more coming up.

Updated at 11.33am GMT

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