England women's national football team
|Nickname(s)||"Three Lionesses", "The Lionesses"|
|Association||The Football Association|
|Head coach||Mark Sampson|
|Most caps||Fara Williams (150)|
|Top scorer||Kelly Smith (46)|
|Current||5 1 (26 August 2016)|
|Highest||4 (March 2016)|
|Lowest||14 (June 2004)|
Scotland 2–3 England |
(Greenock, Scotland; 18 November 1972)
Lithuania 0-14 England |
(Kaunas, Lithuania; 24 October 2016)
Norway 8–0 England |
(Moss, Norway; 4 June 2000)
|Appearances||4 (first in 1995)|
|Best result||Third place (2015)|
|UEFA Women's Championship|
|Appearances||8 (first in 1984)|
|Best result||Runner-up (1984, 2009)|
The England women's national football team represents England in international women's association football at the senior level. 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.
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an UEFA recommendation in 1972 for national associations to incorporate the women's game, the Football Association (FA) rescinded its fifty-year ban on women playing on Football League grounds.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. Despite resolute defending, including a spectacular goal line clearance from captain Carol Thomas, 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 fourth, 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
Hope Powell became the team's first full-time head coach in June 1998, succeeding her former coach Copeland.
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 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.
Powell left the role in August 2013 after a poor showing at the 2013 UEFA Women's Championship, with England bowing out early at the group stages.
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 in Canada, England lost their opening group game to France 1–0 in Moncton, with a 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 1995 champions Norway. After a 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 in Italy, which had included Paul Gascoigne and Gary Lineker in addition to Sir Bobby Robson as coach.
England played reigning World Cup holders Japan in Edmonton, and they managed to impose themselves physically 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 Colombia's Andrés Escobar's infamous own goal during the 1994 FIFA World Cup held in the United States, which had led to Colombia losing 1–2 to the US, crashing out of the tournament and Escobar being murdered. 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 American counterparts Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Brandi Chastain – all members of the famous team that won the 1999 Women's World Cup as hosts – as well as opposite numbers from the England men's team and FA management including captain Wayne Rooney, Jack Wilshere, Rio Ferdinand, Gary Lineker, Glenn Hoddle and FA president Prince William.
England eventually finished in third place by beating Germany for the first time in 21 meetings, 1–0, after Lianne Sanderson won a penalty off a Tabea Kemme foul in the 108th minute that Williams converted past German captain and keeper Nadine Angerer. 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. In the process, England also denied a podium finish for Angerer and coach Silvia Neid – the two remaining pieces from the German teams that had won consecutive Women's World Cups in 2003 in the United States and 2007 in China – in their final World Cup.
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. At the beginning of the tournament, Houghton said the team wanted to "inspire a nation", and English fans spoke of being revitalized by the Lionesses' success, as the men's team had crashed out of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil at the group stage following 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||–||–||–||–||–||–|
- *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|
|2016 SheBelieves Cup||Group Stage||3rd||3||0||1||2||1||3|
- For all past and present players who have appeared for the national team, see List of England women's international footballers (alphabetical)
Head coach: Mark Sampson
The following players have also been called up to the England squad within the last twelve months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Carly Telford||7 July 1987||7||0||Notts County||v. Serbia, 7 June 2016|
|GK||Rachael Laws||5 November 1990||0||0||Sunderland||v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 29 November 2015|
|GK||Mary Earps||7 March 1993||0||0||Bristol Academy||v. Australia, 27 October 2015|
|DF||Alex Greenwood||7 September 1993||17||1||Liverpool||v. Serbia, 7 June 2016|
|DF||Amy Turner||4 July 1991||4||0||Notts County||v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 29 November 2015|
|DF||Jemma Rose||19 January 1992||1||0||Arsenal||v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 29 November 2015|
|DF||Hannah Blundell||25 May 1994||0||0||Chelsea||v. Australia, 27 October 2015|
|MF||Laura Coombs||29 January 1991||2||0||Liverpool (on loan from Chelsea)||v. Australia, 27 October 2015|
|MF||Drew Spence||23 October 1992||1||0||Chelsea||v. Australia, 27 October 2015|
|FW||Fran Kirby||29 June 1993||15||5||Chelsea||v. Serbia, 7 June 2016|
|FW||Jodie Taylor||17 May 1986||15||5||Arsenal||v. Serbia, 7 June 2016|
|FW||Jessica Clarke||5 May 1989||52||11||Notts County||v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 29 November 2015|
|FW||Lianne Sanderson||3 February 1988||50||15||Orlando Pride||v. Australia, 27 October 2015|
|FW||Beth Mead||9 May 1995||0||0||Sunderland||v. Australia, 27 October 2015|
Carol Thomas was the first player to reach 50 caps in 1985, before retiring from representative football later that year, having amassed 56 caps. Fara Williams holds the record for England appearances, having played 150 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 127, followed by Casey Stoney with 123 caps. Coultard has the fifth highest number of England 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.
Most capped players
|Carol Thomas (nee McCune)||1976–1985|
2015–16 Results & fixtures
|21 September 2015 2017 UEFA Euro qualifier||Estonia||0–8||England||A. Le Coq Arena, Tallinn|
|18:00||Report|| Carter 2', 83', 90+2'
Kirby 40', 81'
| Attendance: 1,342
Referee: Dilan Gökçek (Turkey)
|23 October 2015 Dewellbon Cup||China PR||2–1||England||Chongqing, China|
|Wang Shuang 5', 45'|| BBC report
| Potter 21'
| Attendance: 12,000
|27 October 2015 Dewellbon Cup||England||1–0||Australia||Chongqing, China|
|Christiansen 51'|| Report (FFA)
| Attendance: 1,800
Referee: Liang Qin (China)
|26 November 2015 Friendly||Germany||0–0||England||Duisburg|
|18:00 (CET (UTC+1)||Report|| Stadium: MSV-Arena
Referee: Esther Staubli (Switzerland)
|29 November 2015 2017 UEFA Euro qualifier||England||1–0||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol|
|16:30 UTC||J. Scott 69'||Report|| Attendance: 13,040
Referee: Florence Guillemin (France)
|3 March 2016 2016 SheBelieves Cup||United States||1–0||England||Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida|
| 19:45 EST
|Dunn 72'||Report|| Attendance: 13,027
Referee: Tatiana Guzman (Nicaragua)
|6 March 2016 2016 SheBelieves Cup||Germany||2–1||England||Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee|
| 16:30 CST
| Flaherty 76' (o.g.)
Peter 82' (pen.)
|Report||Duggan 9'|| Attendance: 25,363
Referee: Katja Koroleva (United States)
|9 March 2016 2016 SheBelieves Cup||France||0–0||England||FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, Florida|
| 17:00 EST
| Referee: Gillian Martindale (Barbados)
|8 April 2016 2017 UEFA Euro qualifier||England||1–1||Belgium||New York Stadium, Rotherham|
|20:55||J.Scott 84'||Report||Cayman 18'|| Attendance: 10,550
Referee: Gyöngyi Gaál (Hungary)
|12 April 2016 2017 UEFA Euro qualifier||Bosnia and Herzegovina||0–1||England||FF BH Football Training Centre, Zenica|
|16:00||Report||Carney 18'|| Attendance: 1,500
Referee: Simona Ghisletta ()
- Women's football in England
- England men's national football team
- Great Britain women's Olympic football team
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