Sports Desk, Jul 6 (EFE).- England began their Women’s Euro 2022 campaign Wednesday with a 1-0 victory against Austria (1-0) to the delight of more than 68,000 supporters at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester.
Beth Mead’s first-half goal made the difference for the hosts on different kind of European night at the Theater of Dreams.
The Lionesses took the early lead in Group A, whose other two teams, Northern Ireland and Norway, will meet Thursday in Southampton.
England had 60 percent possession and outshot their rivals 15-8, yet they looked a little tentative in the early going, as Lauren Hemp headed wide after getting a perfect cross from Lucy Bronze.
But when Fran Kirby lofted a pass into the box in the 17th minute, Mead skillfully brought down the ball and beat Austrian goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger.
Though defender Carina Wenninger came up with an acrobatic clearance, goal line technology confirmed that the ball crossed the line.
Zinsberger did well to deny Hemp on a chance to double England’s lead in the 44th minute.
The visitors tightened up at the back in the second half, yet failed to generate much on the attack. England keeper Mary Earps’ first save didn’t come until the 77th minute, against Barbara Dunst.
Late sub Julia Hickelsberger-Fuller had Austria’s only other shot on target, a strike in the 87th that Earps handled with assurance.