England, Spain through after women’s Euro thrillers

Deventer (Netherlands) (AFP) – Toni Duggan and Nikita Parris gave England a 2-1 win over Portugal, sending the Lionesses to the women’s Euro quarter-finals alongside Spain who lost 1-0 to Scotland on Thursday.

Duggan opened the score in Tilburg on seven minutes following a howler by Portuguese keeper Patricia Morais, who sent her clearance to the England striker and then watched as Duggan chipped the ball over her into the net.

Carolina Mendes pulled Portugal level ten minutes later on a cutback from Diana Silva, but Parris then scored the decider just after half-time after a mazy run through the Portuguese defence and a shot under Morais.

In Deventer, Caroline Weir handed Euro newcomers Scotland their first-ever win at the tournament with a lone goal on 41 minutes.

Weir robbed keeper Sandra Panos who had run out to collect a pass, then she outsprinted her and nutmegged a Spanish defender on the goal line.

However, the win was not enough to give the Scots a quarter-final spot.

England, who started Wednesday’s game with a reserve team, topped Group D with three wins from as many games while Spain squeezed through to the quarter-finals on goal difference from their games against Portugal and Scotland with all three finishing on three points.

England will take on France and Spain will face Austria on Sunday, while hosts the Netherlands will play against Sweden and holders Germany play Denmark a day earlier.

Portugal were pushing for a goal that would have seen them through, but Mendes narrowly missed Silva’s cross in front of the goal in the first half, and England then held on to their lead comfortably.

In a rare chance, Laura Luis sent her volley into keeper Siobhan Chamberlain in stoppage time.

Spain dominated possession against Scotland, and they could have taken the lead, but Scotland keeper Gemma Fay narrowly palmed out Marta Torrejon’s free-kick on five minutes.

Half an hour later, Fay dived superbly to save Jennifer Hermoso’s header before clearing Irene Paredes’s header onto the post in the same minute.

Before half-time, Fay ran out and handled the ball outside the box, but Torrejon missed from the ensuing free-kick.

A second goal would have been enough for Scotland, but Leanne Crichton blasted her shot from seven metres over the bar and substitute Lana Clelland also sent a left-footer over.

At the other end, Silvia Meseguer rattled the crossbar with a long-range effort and Scotland’s Ifeoma Dieke cleared the ball off the goal line after another superb save by Fay.

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