England vs. Austria score, highlights, and analysis from the first game of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, as Mead earns a narrow victory

England began their UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 campaign with a 1-0 win over Austria, thanks to Beth Mead’s first-half goal.
Sarina Wiegman’s team extended its undefeated streak to 15 matches, with Mead’s 17th-minute effort enough to defeat well-drilled opponents in front of a tournament record crowd of 68,871.
On Monday, the Lionesses will face Norway in Group A, while Austria will face Northern Ireland.

Irene Fuhrmann’s Austria team got out to a fast start, with their high pressing bothering a nervous England, but a moment of brilliance relaxed the hosts in the 17th minute.

Fran Kirby’s beautiful lofted pass reached Mead, whose chest control and precise lob were top-notch.

Carina Wenninger acrobatically cleared the ball from the goalmouth, but goal-line technology revealed that it had only barely crossed the line.
England’s early hesitant style was shaken, with record goalscorer Ellen White stooping to head Lauren Hemp’s cross wide.


White gained control high up the field in first-half stoppage time and found Kirby to set up Hemp. Manuela Zinsberger, the Austrian goalkeeper, rushed out to deny the Manchester City winger.

 

Wiegman’s remarkable bench strength was on display when she removed Kirby, White, and Mead after an hour. When Hemp’s free-kick was deflected high, one of the substitutes, Alessia Russo, should have increased the lead, but she was unable to make solid touch on her attempt.

Austria had a couple of late shots on goal through Barbara Dunst and Julia Hickelsberger-Füller, but England goalkeeper Mary Earps was up to the task and England took the three points.
Kirby’s chances of competing in this tournament were bleak three months ago, when she was sidelined by a tiredness issue at Chelsea.

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According to the Guardian, the 29-year-old met with psychiatrists, hired a nutritionist, and had an oxygen tent constructed at her home.

All of England’s greatest first-half moments, including a beautiful assist for the victory, must have made all of her efforts worthwhile.

Wiegman’s team was unable to replicate its free-scoring style on the big stage, and there are likely still some midfield balance concerns to work out. But Hemp, White, and Mead appear like the front trio that will make or break England’s drive for success, and they linked excellently at times, causing Austria lots of issues.

Hemp, in particular, was unyielding. Four shots, two on target, 11 touches in the opponent box, four opportunities created, and nine crosses attempted were all game highs for the 21-year-old.

 

 


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