England 1-0 Haiti - FIFA Women's World Cup match centre
- G. Stanway (29′PEN)
- G. Stanway (54′)
- L. Hemp (51′)
- D. Pierre-Louis (19′)
A first-half penalty from Georgia Stanway settled the Lionesses' opening game at the World Cup
Highlights: England 1-0 Haiti
See the best of the action from Brisbane as the Lionesses began their FIFA Women's World Cup campaign
England v Haiti
FIFA Women's World Cup
10.30am BST, Saturday 22 July 2023
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia
Sarina Wiegman has confirmed England have a full squad to choose from for their opening match of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and is hoping the headaches the players are causing will remain throughout the tournament.
The Lionesses start their World Cup campaign on Saturday morning against Haiti, with kick-off at 10.30am BST and the match being shown live on ITV and ITVX.
Three of England’s star players from last summer’s EURO triumph – Leah Williamson, Beth Mead and Fran Kirby – had all been ruled out well in advance of the tournament.
And there were doubts over whether Millie Bright, who has replaced Williamson as captain for the tournament, will be fit for the opening match against Haiti.
England’s head coach continued: “It is the first game of the tournament for both of us and for Haiti it is their first time at the World Cup. Everyone is fit so we are ready to go.
“Haiti have an athletic team, they are very opportunistic, have a very transitional game, some unpredictability and we are going to try to play our own game.”
Bright has not played a competitive fixture since injuring her knee playing for Chelsea in March.
New horizons. Same mission. One family.— Lionesses (@Lionesses) July 20, 2023
World Cup 2023. Let’s do this. pic.twitter.com/RMpAloQ95U
The 29-year-old did feature in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Canada last Friday and has continued to train with the team this week.
Bright said: “When you are surrounded by the best people, I was very confident about my recovery, and I was given absolutely everything I needed for my recovery to be in this position that I am in.
“I am grateful to play and super excited to be here.”
Wiegman used the same starting XI throughout last summer’s home European Championships and there is intrigue around who will be in the side tomorrow, with impressive levels of competition in a number of positions.
The media in this morning’s pre-match press conference asked several questions about team selection in the hope of getting an indication of who might start at the Brisbane Stadium, but the England head coach was giving little away.
Wiegman said: “I have decided [on England’s starting XI] but I am not going to tell you.”
And when asked when she planned to tell the players of the team, smiling, she responded: “I’m not going to tell you that either.”
Wiegman continued: “We had preparation camps, we had the behind-closed-doors game [against Canada], we had the Portugal game and we have tried many, many things and we wanted everyone to be ready for tomorrow.
“As we know, what is today, can change tomorrow because someone can get ill or an injury so I have all positions double possessed and that has given me and the technical staff some really big headaches.”
When asked what the biggest headache was, Wiegman added, again with a smile: “No, I am not going to tell you.
“It is really close, it is very competitive and I want them to keep giving us headaches all the time.”
The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup got underway on Thursday, as co-hosts New Zealand and Australia both secured 1-0 wins against Norway and the Republic of Ireland respectively.
And with just 27 hours separating England versus Haiti and the press conference, Bright acknowledged the anticipation is really building.
Bright said: “It is really exciting. Everyone has been itching for the tournament to get begin and knowing now that we play tomorrow is even more exciting. Everyone is ready and raring to go.
“The girls were watching the games and the excitement levels are really high and we are just counting the hours down now for our game.”
Wiegman's excitement as strong as ever
Sarina Wiegman is heading into her third World Cup as a coach but the England boss remains as excited as ever as she sets her sights on challenging for another trophy.
As a player, Wiegman was part of the Netherlands squad which competed at the FIFA Women's Invitation Tournament in China in 1988, which was used as a test event to see if a Women’s World Cup was feasible at the time, with the maiden tournament taking place in 1991.
When the competition expanded to include more teams in 2015, Wiegman was an assistant coach as the Netherlands made the last 16 in their first appearance at an official World Cup.
And after becoming head coach in 2017 and guiding the Dutch to their first major tournament at EURO 2017, Wiegman then took the Netherlands all the way to the World Cup final in 2019, before narrowly losing out to the USA 2-0.
Now Wiegman will be looking to go one step further with England when the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup gets underway in Australia and New Zealand later this month.
When asked if she retains that same level of excitement heading into these major tournaments, Wiegman replied: “Yeah, absolutely. As a player I went to the informal World Cup in 1988 and this will be my third World Cup as a coach, having been an assistant coach in 2015 and then in France with the Netherland in 2019.
“All our games are in Australia and I've been really excited to go there. The game is growing so fast and it's going to be really exciting. I’m really looking forward to it.”
England get their World Cup campaign underway against Haiti on Saturday 22 July, with the kick-off at 10.30am and it being broadcast on ITV1.
Haiti are ranked 53rd in the world but Wiegman has warned of the threat posed by the Caribbean Island nation and in particular one of the world’s rising stars.
Wiegman said: “This is the first time they have made the World Cup, although they have lots of players who went to the Under-20 World Cup in 2018 in France.
“They play with different styles of play and they beat Chile in the play-offs to qualify, so that was very impressive.
“They have one player, Melchie Dumornay, who will move on in the summer from Reims to Olympique Lyon. She is a very fast forward so is a dangerous player.”
With the opposition being 49 places below England in the world rankings, Wiegman was asked how hard it is to make sure complacency doesn’t set in when playing teams such as Haiti.
“What do you think? Do you think that when we start the World Cup there will be complacency and that we're not going to be really ready to get out there?” Wiegman replied.
“At that point, we'll be so excited to get playing and start the World Cup, which we have worked towards since our September camp last year when we qualified.
“So no, I'm absolutely not concerned about any complacency, we'll be ready and we'll be looking forward to playing them.
“The player that I was talking about, Melchie Dumornay, she's only 19 years old and is a big talent - she went to the Under-20 World Cup when she was only 14.”
Inside The Pride | Journey to the Women's World Cup
Get a never seen look into the Lionesses squad following a thrilling start to 2023.
Haiti in profile
Nickname: Le Rouge et Bleus
Coach: Nicolas Delepine
Captain: Nerilia Mondesir
How they got here
Very much the surprise package of World Cup qualifying, the Central American side made it through to the tournament after beating Chile in a play-off back in February. That 2-1 win in New Zealand sparked an outpouring of joy in a country which has been hit by both political upheaval and a series of natural disasters. Before the ten-team qualifying tournament kicked off, midfielder Danielle Etienne described the situation, saying “there’s a lot of unhappiness in the country and football is the joy.” Haiti currently sit at 53 in the FIFA rankings.
Melchie Dumornay scored both of Haiti’s goals in their 2-1 win over Chile, immediately etching her name into the history books. Haiti’s football federation celebrated an “unforgettable evening for our Grenadieres in Auckland” on Twitter, and all eyes will be on the incoming Lyon star when Haiti play in their first-ever major global tournament.
Scoring goals certainly isn’t an issue for the World Cup debutants. In 2022 CONCACAF Cup qualifying they smashed 21 past the British Virgin Islands without reply, before scoring six against Cuba just three days later. Their back-to-back wins in the qualifying tournament in New Zealand – a 4-0 win against Senegal before their famous victory over Chile – means no one will be taking them lightly when the serious business begins this summer. In April’s internationals, they lost to Nigeria before beating Moldova 3-1 away.
Head to head
This will be the first meeting between the nations at any level, following Haiti's qualification for the 2023 World Cup. It will be the Caribbean nation's first World Cup, after victories over Senegal and Chile in the interconfederation play-off games in New Zealand.
● England are making their sixth FIFA Women’s World Cup appearance and their fifth in a row. The Lionesses are one of three teams (USA, Germany) to reach the quarter-finals in each of the last four tournaments and one of two, along with the USA, to reach the semi-finals in the last two.
● England are looking to become the second team, after Germany in 2003 and 2007, to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup as reigning European champions.
● England have won their opening match at the FIFA Women’s World Cup just twice in five previous appearances (D2 L1). In their final two group stage games in each tournament, however, England has posted a record of eight wins, one draw and one defeat.
● England have scored in each of their last 13 FIFA Women’s World Cup matches, the longest active streak in the competition, last being shut out in a loss to France in 2015. Should England score in their first two group stage matches, they would equal the longest such streak in tournament history, 15 games by Norway from 1991 to 1999.
● Only her fellow countrywoman Steph Houghton (1290) has played more minutes at the last two FIFA Women’s World Cups than England defender Lucy Bronze (1180). Bronze also made a total of 37 interceptions across the last two editions, more than any other player, and was the only defender to create 10+ chances for her teammates in that period (12).
England Squad News
How to watch or stream
The 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup will be broadcast in the UK on BBC and ITV, with the England v Haiti game being shown on ITV1 and ITVX.
The broadcast is due to begin at 9.40am ahead of the 10.30am kick-off.
Georgia Stanway’s first-half penalty was the difference between the sides on their first-ever meeting, meaning Sarina Wiegman’s side begin their tournament with a crucial three points in Group D.
Haiti, ranked 49 places lower than the Lionesses, caused plenty of problems on the break, with Melchie Dumornay in particular a constant threat, but England ultimately held firm to see out the win.
Haiti started brightly, with Dumornay finding space inside a minute after pouncing on a loose pass from Millie Bright, with Jess Carter forced into some early evasive action.
But the Lionesses soon found their rhythm, breaking quickly minutes later to work the ball rapidly up the pitch before Lauren Hemp’s dangerous cross was cut out with Alessia Russo waiting in the middle.
Chloe Kelly was then the first to test Haitian ‘keeper Kerly Theus from range, before Russo also fired straight at the stopper after a clearance fell to her on the edge of the box.
But Haiti continued to threaten, with Roselord Borgella giving England an early warning sign as she raced in behind only to be stymied by the offside flag, with the Lionesses struggling to contend with the threat offered on the break by their opponents.
A breakthrough then came just before the half-hour mark from the spot, as Stanway slotted home from 12 yards at the second attempt after VAR spotted a Haitian handball.
The midfielder saw her first penalty excellently saved by Theus, but the ‘keeper was adjudged to have moved off her line giving Stanway a second chance to convert.
Haiti continued to trouble England despite the Lionesses’ lead, with Borgella unable to head home from six yards after another cross from the ever-dangerous Dumornay.
England began to find more space as the match approached the hour, Russo drawing Theus into two saves within a minute after robbing Batcheba Louis on the edge of the box and firing an effort on goal before spinning wide and shooting from a Stanway cross.
Russo then called Theus into action again with a header from the middle of the box, which the ‘keeper did well to tip over the bar before Bright volleyed over from a corner.
But Haiti continued to remind the Lionesses of the threat they posed with another rapid counter-attack, only for the offside flag to again deny Borgella.
England continued to press for a second, with Lauren James and Rachel Daly both introduced, but the closest they could come was a poked effort from Kelly after superb feet in the box to wriggle free.
Seconds later Daly then had a chance to put the game beyond doubt for the Lionesses, but her header was straight at Theus as the final stages became increasingly stretched in Brisbane.
As Haiti pushed for an equaliser, Dumornay powered her way into the box only to be halted by an excellent recovery tackle by Carter as England ground out the all-important three points.
Substitutes: 7 Lauren James (Chelsea) for Hemp 61’, 9 Rachel Daly (Aston Villa) for Russo 76’
Substitutes not used: 3 Niamh Charles (Chelsea) 12 Jordan Nobbs (Aston Villa), 13 Hannah Hampton (Chelsea) 14 Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal), 15 Esme Morgan (Manchester City), 17 Laura Coombs (Manchester City), 19 Bethany England (Tottenham Hotspur), 20 Katie Zelem (Manchester United), 21 Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City), 22 Katie Robinson (Brighton & Hove Albion)
Goals: Stanway 29’
Cautions: Stanway, Hemp
Head coach: Sarina Wiegman
Haiti: 1 Kerly Theus, 3 Jennyfer Limage, 4 Tabita Joseph, 6 Melchie Dumornay, 7 Batcheba Louis, 9 Sherly Jeudy, 10 Nerilia Mondesir, 13 Betina Petit Frere, 19 Dayana Pierre-Louis, 20 Kethan Louis, 22 Roselord Borgella
Substitutes: 21 Ruthny Mathurin for Limage 31’, 11 Roseline Eloissaint for Borgella, 15 Florsie Joseph for Louis 90’
Substitutes not used: 2 Chelsea Surpris, 5 Maudeline Moryl, 8 Danielle Etienne, 12 Nahomie Ambroise, 14 Estericove Joseph, 16 Milan Pierre-Jerome, 17 Shwendesky Joseph, 18 Noa Ganthier, 21 Ruthny Mathurin, 23 Lara Larco,
Head coach: Nicolas Delepine