England survive Scotland scare in Women's Nations League

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England ran out narrow 2-1 winners over Scotland in their inaugural UEFA Women's Nations League match, thanks to first half goals from Lucy Bronze and Lauren Hemp at Sunderland's Stadium of Light.

In action against their northern neighbours for the first time since they met in Scotland's maiden World Cup group game in Nice four years ago, the Lionesses recreated the same scoreline from 2019, with most of the action contained in the first half.

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On the front foot early, England didn't take long to start asking questions of the Scottish defence, which was reduced to clutch blocks and goal-saving tackles with the backline panicked.

The traffic was not all one way however, and Caroline Weir managed to draw a strong save from Mary Earps on a night when she starred for the visitors in Sunderland.

England were denied a goal after Rachel Daly had nodded beyond Lee Alexander at a corner, when play was pulled back for Chloe Kelly blocking the goalkeeper when standing in an offside position.

But the home side didn't have to wait long until they were celebrating again. After Katie Zelem fed the ball in from deep, Lucy Bronze slipped behind the Scottish defence, tracking the path of the ball, before meeting it with a flying header.

One became two on the stroke of half-time as Lauren Hemp powered her own header over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net after being well found by Daly's whipped cross.

Yet with time still left before the break, Scotland dug out a goal to bring them back within one. Weir pressed the scrappy English defence, doing enough to keep the ball alive for Claire Emslie, who slipped it back into the danger zone for Kirsty Hanson to turn the ball home off of the upright.

There were chances for both teams in the second half, with Hanson coming closest when her improvised shot cannoned off of the face of the bar. But just as it had been in their last meeting, the match was destined to finish 2-1 to the Lionesses despite the hosts continuing to have the better of it in terms of possession and chances.

In the last notable action of the night, Lauren James' stoppage-time header was chalked off for a narrow offside.

The win takes England joint-top of their four-team group, tied with Belgium who ran out 2-1 winners over the Netherlands earlier in the evening.