England women's national football team
|Nickname(s)||"Three Lionesses", "The Lionesses"|
|Association||The Football Association|
|Head coach||Mark Sampson|
|Most caps||Fara Williams (146)|
|Top scorer||Kelly Smith (46)|
|FIFA ranking||5 1 (10 July 2015)|
|Highest FIFA ranking||5 (July 2015)|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||14 (June 2004)|
| Scotland 2–3 England
(Greenock, Scotland; 18 November 1972)
| Hungary 0–13 England
(Tapolca, Hungary; 27 October 2005)
| Norway 8–0 England
(Moss, Norway; 4 June 2000)
|Appearances||4 (First in 1995)|
|Best result||Third place (2015)|
|UEFA Women's Championship|
|Appearances||9 (First in 1984)|
|Best result||Runner-up (1984, 2009)|
The England women's national football team represents England in international women's association football. The team has been governed by the Football Association (FA) since 1993, having been previously administered by the Women's Football Association (WFA). England played its first international match in November 1972 against Scotland. Although most national football teams represent a sovereign state, as a member of the United Kingdom's Home Nations, England is permitted by FIFA statutes to maintain its own national side that competes in all major tournaments, with the exception of the Women's Olympic Football Tournament.
England has qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup four times, reaching the quarter final stage on the first three occasions in 1995, 2007, and 2011, and finishing third in 2015. They reached the final of the UEFA Women's Championship in 1984 and 2009.
England is considered as one of emerging powers in women's football, alongside France, South Korea, Australia, Colombia, Cameroon, Switzerland and the Netherlands, following the 2015 Women's World Cup successful third-place.
- 1 History
- 2 Competitive record
- 3 Players
- 4 2015 Results & fixtures
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The success of the men's national football team at the 1966 FIFA World Cup led to an upsurge of interest in football from women within England. The Women's Football Association (WFA) was established a few years later in 1969 as an attempt to organise the women's game. That same year, Harry Batt formed an independent English team that competed in the Fédération Internationale Européenne de Football Féminine (FIEFF) European Cup.:43 Batt's team also participated in two FIEFF World Cups held in Italy (1970) and Mexico (1971).
Following an UEFA recommendation in 1972 for national associations to incorporate the women's game, the Football Association (FA) rescinded its fifty year ban on women playing on Football League grounds.
Shortly after, Eric Worthington was tasked by the WFA to assemble an official women's national team. England competed in its first international match against Scotland in Greenock on 18 November 1972, almost 100 years after the first men's international.
The team overturned a two goal deficit to defeat their northern opponents by 3 goals to 2, with Sylvia Gore scoring England's first international goal. Tom Tranter replaced Worthington as long term manager of the women's national football team and remained in that position for the next six years.:94
1979–1993: Progress under Reagan
Martin Reagan was appointed to replace Tranter in 1979.:100 England reached the finals of the inaugural European Competition for Women's Football, after beating Denmark 3–1 on aggregate in the semi-finals. The England team lost the first away leg 1–0 against Sweden, after a header from Pia Sundhage, but won the second home leg by the same margin, with a goal from Linda Curl. England lost the subsequent penalty shootout 4–3. Theresa Wiseman saved Helen Johansson's penalty but both Curl and Lorraine Hanson had their spot kicks saved by Elisabeth Leidinge.
At the 1987 European Competition for Women's Football, England again reached the semi-finals but lost 3–2 after extra time against holders Sweden, in a repeat of the previous final. The team settled for fouth, after losing the third place play off against Italy 2-1.
Reagan was sacked after England's 6–1 quarter-final loss against Germany at the 1991 UEFA Women's Championship, which left them unable to qualify for the inaugural FIFA Women's World Cup. John Bilton was appointed as head coach in 1991 after Barrie Williams's brief tenure.:103-104
1993–1998: FA involvement
In 1993, the FA took over the running of women's football in England from the WFA, replacing Bilton with Ted Copeland as national team manager.:105 England managed to qualify for the 1995 UEFA Women's Championship, having previously missed out on the last three editions, but were beaten 6–2 on aggregate over two legs against Germany. Reaching the European semi-finals granted England a place at the World Cup for the first time. The team advanced from the group stages of the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup in Sweden, but lost out again to Germany 3–0 in the quarter-finals.
1998–2013: Development under Powell
The European Championship expanded in 1997 to eight teams and moved from a biennial event to a quadrennial one. England qualified via the play offs for the 2001 competition held in Germany, despite recording their biggest loss (away against Norway 8–0) during qualification, but did not advance past the group stages. England automatically qualified as hosts in 2005, but again did not make it to the semi-finals.
Qualification for the World Cup changed for the 1999 edition. European qualifiers were introduced, so that teams no longer needed to rely on advancing to the latter stages of the European Championship. England qualified unbeaten for the 2007 World Cup in China, winning Group 5 in the European qualifiers and recording their biggest win (away against Hungary, 13–0) in the process, ending a 12 year hiatus from the competition. After coming second in their group, they advanced into the quarter-finals to face the United States but lost 3-0.
In May 2009, central contracts were implemented to help players focus on full-time training without having to fit it around full-time employment. Three months later, at the European Championships in Finland, England marked their return to the recently expanded twelve team competition by reaching the final for the first time in 25 years. They advanced from Group C to the quarter-finals by virtue of being the top third placed team, beating both the hosts and the Netherlands in the knockout stages on the way to the final. There they lost 6–2 to reigning champions Germany.
England reached their third World Cup in 2011, having won Group 5 and their play off 5–2 over two legs against Switzerland. In Germany, they topped Group B - ahead of eventual winners Japan.
England were paired with France in the quarter-finals, with the match ending in a 1–1 draw. England had taken the lead with Jill Scott's chip, only to have Élise Bussaglia equalise with two minutes remaining. After extra time ended in stalemate, they lost the ensuing penalty shootout 4–3. Karen Bardsley had saved Camille Abily's initial penalty but misses by Claire Rafferty and Faye White sent England out of the competition.
2013–present: Recent form
England played their first international match at the new Wembley Stadium, home to the men's national team, in a friendly against the reigning European champions Germany on 23 November 2014. England had not played Germany since their heavy defeat in the European Championship final five years earlier. They lost the match 3–0, marking the 20th attempt at which England had failed to record an official win over Germany.
2015 FIFA Women's World Cup
At the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, England lost their opening group game to France 1–0, with an long range goal from French midfielder Eugenie Le Sommer in the first half, however Mark Sampson praised the performance, despite criticism from the media. England then won their remaining group games against Mexico and Colombia, easing through to the last 16, to play former World Cup winners Norway. After an scoreless first half, Norway managed to score first through Solveig Gulbrandsen's header off a corner kick, but England rallied as captain Steph Houghton answered with a header of her own off a corner and Lucy Bronze fired in a powerful long-range strike to give England a 2-1 win. It marked England's first-ever knockout stage win at a Women's World Cup and a ticket to the quarterfinals to face host nation Canada.
Despite facing not only a strong Canadian team but a capacity partisan crowd at BC Place in Vancouver, England took control with two quick goals from Jodie Taylor's finish off a mistake from Lauren Sesselmann and Bronze's header off the crossbar from a free kick. Christine Sinclair managed to score a goal back for Canada, but it was not enough for the hosts and England progressed to the semifinals of the Women's World Cup for the first time in their history, becoming the first England team of any gender to reach a World Cup semi final since the England men's team at the 1990 World Cup, which had included Paul Gascoigne and Gary Lineker in addition to Sir Bobby Robson as coach.
England would next play reigning World Cup holders Japan in Edmonton, and they managed to impose themselves psychically very well on Japan, however they conceded a penalty kick, and Aya Miyama of Japan converted it past Karen Bardsley. Replays showed the foul was committed outside the penalty area, and it should have been a free kick. Just a couple of minutes later, Japan conceded a penalty as Yuki Ogimi clipped Steph Houghton's left heel, although the contact seemed slight, and Fara Williams slotted it past Ayumi Kaihori to level the game. However in the last minute of the game, Laura Bassett scored an own goal to send Japan through to the final. Bassett broke down in tears, along with other members of the England team. These images were compared to that of Gascoigne in 1990, when he cried after he was booked, and ultimately England were eliminated on penalties against West Germany; about the own goal, it was considered as a replay of Andrés Escobar's infamous own goal during 1994 FIFA World Cup held in the United States, which Colombia lost 1-2. Immediate reaction was tremendously supportive, towards Bassett and Mark Sampson called her a hero and one of his best players throughout the tournament. Support also came from the football community for Bassett and England from Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Brandi Chastain. Those in the men's game also supported Bassett and England from Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney, Jack Wilshere, Gary Lineker, Glenn Hoddle and the FA president Prince William.
England eventually finished third place by beating Germany for the first time in 21 meetings, 1–0, thanks to an extra time penalty on Lianne Sanderson that Fara Williams converted. It not only gave them the bronze medal and the best placing of any European team in the tournament but also marked the best performance by a senior English team, male or female, since an England men's team coached by Sir Alf Ramsey and including Bobby Charlton and Bobby Moore had famously won the 1966 World Cup as hosts.
It is hoped that the victorious 2015 campaign will usher in more success for women's football in England with the FA WSL and even more players playing the game, in a similar fashion to the 2012 Summer Olympics plus the FA Women's Cup final between Chelsea Ladies and Notts County Ladies being played at Wembley Stadium for the very first time as at the beginning of the tournament captain Steph Houghton said the team wanted to "inspire a nation". English fans spoke of being revitalized by the Lionesses' success, as the men's team had crashed out of Brazil 2014 in the group stage after losses to Italy and Uruguay.
England have qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup four times (1995, 2007, 2011, 2015) and failed to qualify for three competitions (1991, 1999, 2003). The England team reached the quarter final stage on three occasions, losing out to Germany in 1995, the United States in 2007 and France on penalties in 2011. In 2015, however, England earned the bronze medal for the first time, under Mark Sampson, by beating Germany in the third place play-off.
|World Cup finals|
|1991||Did not qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1999||Did not qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|2003||Did not qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|2019||To be determined|
- *Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
England first entered the UEFA Women's Championship in 1984, reaching the final that year and in 2009. The England team has reached the semi-finals on two other occasions (1989, 1995) but only managed to make the group stages in three editions (2001, 2005, 2013). The team did not qualify in 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1997.
|No Host 1984||Runners-up||4||3||0||1||4||2|
|1989||Did not qualify||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|1991||Did not qualify||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|1993||Did not qualify||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|No Host 1995||Semi-final||2||0||0||2||2||6|
|1997||Did not qualify||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|2017||To be determined|
- *Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
- **Red border colour denotes tournament was held on home soil.
England do not participate in the Women's Olympic Football Tournament, as the country does not have its own National Olympic Committee (NOC). Members of its team have played for the Great Britain women's Olympic football team at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Since England falls under the jurisdiction of the British Olympic Association, remit for an Olympic football team requires support from all four Home Nation associations. The Scottish Football Association (SFA), the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and the Irish Football Association (IFA) have all previously objected to the premise over fears that the team would erode the independence of their individual football associations.
|1976 Pony Home Championship||Winners, group stage||1st||2||2||0||0||9||1|
|1979 Unofficial European Championship||Semi Final||4th||4||2||1||1||6||4|
|1981 Mundialito||Group Stage||3rd||2||1||0||1||4||1|
|1984 Mundialito||Semi Final||3rd||4||0||2||2||3||6|
|1990 North America Cup||Group Stage||3rd||4||1||1||2||3||7|
|2002 Algarve Cup||Group Stage||9th||4||1||0||3||8||12|
|2005 Algarve Cup||Group Stage||8th||4||3||1||0||13||0|
|2007 Four Nations Tournament||Group Stage||4th||3||0||2||1||3||0|
|2009 Cyprus Cup||Winners||1st||4||3||1||0||14||3|
|2010 Cyprus Cup||Group Stage||5th||4||2||1||1||6||5|
|2010 Peace Queen Cup||Group Stage||2nd||2||0||2||0||0||0|
|2011 Cyprus Cup||Group Stage||5th||4||2||0||2||4||4|
|2012 Cyprus Cup||Group Stage||4th||4||2||0||2||5||7|
|2013 Cyprus Cup||Winners||1st||4||3||1||0||12||7|
|2014 Cyprus Cup||Final||2nd||4||3||0||1||7||2|
|2015 Cyprus Cup||Winners||1st||4||3||1||0||8||2|
- For all past and present players who have appeared for the national team, see List of England women's international footballers (alphabetical)
Caps and goals updated as of 27 June 2015.
Head coach: Mark Sampson
The following players have also been called up to the England squad within the last twelve months.
Fara Williams holds the record for England appearances, having played 138 times since 2001. She overtook previous record holder Rachel Yankey in August 2014, in a friendly against Sweden. Yankey had passed Gillian Coultard's 119 record England women caps in September 2012, in a European qualifying match against Croatia, and Peter Shilton's 125 record England international caps in June 2013, in a friendly against Japan. Alex Scott is the third highest capped female England player with 122, followed by Coultard. Casey Stoney is fifth, with 118 caps.
Kelly Smith has scored the highest number of goals for England, with 46 over a twenty year international career. She surpassed Karen Walker's 40 goal record in September 2010, in a World Cup qualifying play off against Switzerland.
2015 Results & fixtures
England v United States
Australia v England
Netherlands v England
Canada v England
England v China PR
Canada v England
France v England
England v Mexico
England v Colombia
Norway v England
England v Canada
Japan v England
Germany v England