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Taylor secures Dutch win for England women

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Taylor lob gives England win over Dutch

England extended their unbeaten run to 10 matches as substitute Jodie Taylor gave them a hard-fought friendly win over Euro 2017 hosts the Netherlands.

The Lionesses showed grit in a game of few chances in Tilburg, notably when Lucy Bronze blocked from Ellen Jansen.

Mark Sampson’s side improved after the break, and Toni Duggan produced a low save from Loes Gurts.

And after a spell of Dutch pressure, Jordan Nobbs’ long ball sent Taylor racing clear to lob the winner.

Relive England’s gritty win in Tilburg

See the full Euro 2017 draw

Sampson gets his wish

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Mark Sampson punched the air when Jodie Taylor scored the winner

Sampson joined his squad late for the fixture having returned from the birth of his first child.

The England boss had explained he wanted this fixture to test his side – who do not play again until a friendly with Italy in April – as they prepare for the European Championship in July.

His decision to introduce Taylor to offer more support to the often-isolated Duggan proved key, and he should be pleased with how his defenders restricted a side seeded ninth for next summer’s tournament.

England have now conceded just one goal in eight matches, defensive form which has set up their best run since an 11-game unbeaten sequence between March 2012 and June 2013.

A Euro 2017 win? Hope, but questions

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Germany last left a European Championship without the trophy in 1993, but England did beat them at the 2015 World Cup

England, seeded third, will be heavy favourites to progress from a Euro 2017 group also featuring Scotland, Spain and Portugal.

The fact Sampson made just two changes from October’s friendly win over Spain suggests he is getting closer to knowing his best side but still there are some questions to be answered.

In deploying Karen Carney behind lone striker Duggan, England lacked cutting edge and it was only when Taylor came on as a second striker that they created their best two openings.

Chelsea striker Eniola Aluko’s omission from the squad also prompts questions. The Women’s Super League’s top-scoring English player has not added to her 95 England caps since April.

England’s players must also get used to a new schedule next year, in preparation for the domestic season switching to September-May.

But the national side’s excellent form leaves them well placed to perhaps end Germany’s run of six straight European titles.

‘England find key answers’

Former England forward Sue Smith on the BBC Red Button: “I think England can be happy, given they have a lot of key players missing. I think they are in a good position going into the Euros.

“The Dutch made it hard for them, but England managed to solve the problems the Dutch created. They have ground out a win, which is sometimes what you need to do, especially in tournament football.”

Player of the match – Jordan Nobbs

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Jordan Nobbs was busy in England’s midfield and produced a superb through-ball for the only goal of the game

Live Text

Match ends, Netherlands Women 0, England 1.

Second Half ends, Netherlands Women 0, England 1.

Attempt saved. Sisca Folkertsma (Netherlands Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ellen Jansen.

Substitution, England. Alex Scott replaces Isobel Christiansen.

Foul by Stephanie Houghton (England).

Stefanie van der Gragt (Netherlands Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Netherlands Women. Conceded by Jo Potter.

Attempt missed. Stefanie van der Gragt (Netherlands Women) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Shanice Van de Sanden.

Offside, England. Stephanie Houghton tries a through ball, but Jodie Taylor is caught offside.

Lucy Bronze (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Shanice Van de Sanden (Netherlands Women).

Attempt missed. Sherida Spitse (Netherlands Women) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Jill Roord.

Foul by Lucy Bronze (England).

Sisca Folkertsma (Netherlands Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Jodie Taylor (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Stefanie van der Gragt (Netherlands Women).

Substitution, England. Fara Williams replaces Karen Carney.

Substitution, England. Gilly Flaherty replaces Toni Duggan.

Goal! Netherlands Women 0, England 1. Jodie Taylor (England) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jordan Nobbs with a through ball following a fast break.

Attempt blocked. Jill Roord (Netherlands Women) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ellen Jansen.

Corner, Netherlands Women. Conceded by Lucy Bronze.

Substitution, Netherlands Women. Sisca Folkertsma replaces Lineth Beerensteyn.

Corner, Netherlands Women. Conceded by Isobel Christiansen.

Attempt blocked. Shanice Van de Sanden (Netherlands Women) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sherida Spitse.

Attempt blocked. Lineth Beerensteyn (Netherlands Women) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Netherlands Women. Conceded by Stephanie Houghton.

Foul by Jade Moore (England).

Jill Roord (Netherlands Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match (England).

Substitution, Netherlands Women. Jill Roord replaces Lieke Martens.

Attempt saved. Toni Duggan (England) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Demi Stokes.

Foul by Jade Moore (England).

Shanice Van de Sanden (Netherlands Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, England. Conceded by Desiree van Lunteren.

Corner, England. Conceded by Desiree van Lunteren.

Attempt blocked. Toni Duggan (England) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Jodie Taylor (England) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Mandy van den Berg (Netherlands Women).

Jade Moore (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38129526