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FIFA Women's World Cup 2019™

England

Jill Scott of England celebrates scoring the second goal
© Getty Images

FIFA Women's World Cup record
France 2019 represents the Lionesses' fifth appearance at the global finals, and their fourth in succession. After reaching the quarter-finals in their first three Women's World Cups (1995, 2007 and 2011), England achieved their best finish last time out at Canada 2015, finishing third after defeat to Japan in the semi-finals. Their bronze medal - after beating Germany in the play-off for third place - was England's best performance in a senior World Cup (men's or women's) since the men's side lifted the FIFA World Cup™ in 1966.

The road to France
The Lionesses were undefeated in their eight qualifying games, winning seven and drawing once. They scored a quite remarkable 29 goals and, even more incredibly, conceded just once. Among the star players were forwards Nikita Parris and Toni Duggan, who bagged six and four goals respectively, as well as captain Steph Houghton, who marshalled the backline to their impressive defensive record - the team did not concede in the nine hours she was on the pitch in qualifying.

The coach
Phil Neville took charge of England in January 2018 after the departure of Mark Sampson, leading the side through the majority of the qualifiers. While the Lionesses job is his first role in the women's game, Neville had a storied playing career, making over 50 international appearances and winning a host of trophies at Manchester United - including the UEFA Champions League and six English Premier League titles.

The stat
598 Five hundred and ninety-eight minutes without conceding in Women's World Cup qualifiers was the streak brought to an end by Russia's Elena Danilova when she scored against the Lionesses in England's sixth game on the road to France. Before that, the most recent goal scored against England in qualifying was scored by Ukraine's Olha Ovdiychuk in June 2014, meaning there were 1450 days (almost four full years) between the goals.