Manchester United goalkeeper, Mary Earps, was in action today for the England Lionesses in their opening game of the Women’s World Cup against Haiti.
England secured a narrow 1-0 victory over the Caribbean side through a first half penalty which Georgia Stanway slotted in at the second time of asking.
The first half was filled with VAR decisions.
An England penalty was waved away following a lengthy check due to a foul by Russo before Kelly was brought down.
A second penalty appeal for hand ball was given with Stanway failing to convert but she scored the retake after VAR found the keeper was off her line.
However, the real hero of the hour was the Reds shot-stopper as Haiti threw everything at England.
Earps made two crucial saves, tipping Melchie Dumornay’s strike over the bar before denying Roseline Eloissaint’s goal-bound effort with an outstretched leg as the Haitian found herself one on one with the keeper.
Speaking to the BBC after the game Earps said, “[The win] puts us in a good place,” said Earps. “But for sure there’s plenty we need to review and reflect on because we have set ourselves a higher standard than that.”
Despite the Lionesses having 75% possession, 11 shots on target to Haiti’s two, it was Earps who was forced into the bigger saves out of the two keepers.
Former United striker Alessia Russo worked hard but wasn’t clinical in her finishing, meaning most of her chances throughout the game went wide.
United’s Ella Toone was kept quiet and couldn’t really get a grip on the game and England seemed to let the nerves creep in with some sloppy passing gifting Haiti counter-attacking opportunities.
Luckily though, England held on for the win and the clean sheet, with Earps the happiest in the camp with her fine performance.