?Phil Neville pointed to tiredness as the reason for his England side’s limp showing in the latter stages of their Group D match against Japan, despite sealing their progression to the round of 16 as group winners.
Ellen White scored in either half to hand the Lionesses a 2-0 win over Japan, which ensured they won all three of their group matches on the way to the knockout stages.
Having started the game very brightly, White finished off smartly from Georgia Stanway’s neat through ball to hand Neville’s side the lead. England dominated for much of the first half but Japan grew into the game and were in control for the majority of the second period.
As much as their opponents grew into the game, however, the Lionesses became sloppy, with question marks being raised about their hopes of World Cup success. Nevertheless, Neville refused to call his players out, instead insisting that fatigue played its part in ?their 2-0 win.
“Some of our play in the first half was fantastic, but in the second half a few of the players that maybe hadn’t played as much got a little bit tired,” he said, via the ?BBC.