The weather was extreme, the refereeing controversial and much of Spain’s passing exceptional but, not for the first time, Mark Sampson’s England found a way to win in adversity. Fran Kirby’s high-calibre early finish and another outstanding late goal from Jodie Taylor left them top of Group D and on the verge of qualification for the knockout phase. Along with torrential rain the Lionesses were forced to weather quite a technical storm from a gifted Spain side who ranked as one of the pre-tournament favourites. But, despite ceding the bulk of possession, Sampson’s defence restricted their opponents to half-chances. “It’s a huge result for us,” said England’s coach. “We’ll look back and say this was a big moment for we found a way to win. I’m in awe of my players. Chris HeiseyAuthentic Jersey It was a really memorable England performance and potentially a pivotal moment.” Kickoff brought a sense of deja vu, along with a memory of an English triumph at this ground. Seven years ago, on another rainy Sunday in Breda, Steve McClaren’s then FC Twente side won the Eredivisie title here. Sampson arrived in town anxious to build on England’s 6-0 deconstruction of Scotland in their opening Group D game last Wednesday and, http://www.officialnationalstore.com/Daniel_Murphy_Jerseyin an unprecedented move, he named an unchanged starting XI. It was the first time a coach who adores rotation had done so in 55 games since taking charge. Jorge Vilda’s Spain lined up in the 3-5-2 formation which has become their hallmark but were without Veronica Boquete, the Paris Saint-Germain false nine, a shock omission from the squad in the wake of a row about bonuses. Spain should have scored in the opening seconds when Vicky Losada capitalised on Steph Houghton’s slip before shooting wastefully wide. Making the most of that reprieve, England took a second-minute lead. Ellen White pounced on a loose ball before supplying Fran Kirby with a pass which left the Chelsea striker clean through. All that remained was for Kirby to give Sandra Paños “the eyes” and shape to aim one way before directing her shot inside the opposite post. Back in the Eighty Years War between 1568 and 1648 Breda, a strategically important southern Netherlands town, was sacked five times by Spain’s armies. Accordingly Diego Velazquez’s, famous 1625 oil painting, ’The Surrender of Breda’ depicts swashbuckling Spanish conquerors but, initially Vilda’s side looked anything but in control here. Indeed they would have swiftly been two down had Millie Bright’s looping header from Jordan Nobbs’s deep free-kick not been disallowed for either an extremely dubious or a non-existent infringement. The Italian referee, Carina Vitulano, had been not so subtly warned by Sampson to be mindful of some of the ploys of Vilda’s team. Authentic Al Montoya Youth Jersey His pre-match media address about Spain’s “dark arts” and their being “hard to fall in love with” was clearly meant for her ears but she seemed completely unmoved. The England coach, already aggrieved about the disallowed goal, became increasingly agitated by some feisty, yet unpunished, Spanish challenges, most notably involving Nobbs. As the rain lashed down, the surface began cutting up and becoming ever more tricky and slippery. Undeterred, Spain showed off much superlative technical excellence by dominating midfield thanks to some highly impressive passing. During one 10-minute stint England, by now sitting deep and concentrating on keeping their shape, barely touched the ball. Vildas’ players were very much in control and their football most definitely loveable. And yet, despite ceding virtually 80% of possession, http://www.officialcanadiensauthentic.com/Alexei_Kovalev_Jerseythe Lionesses remained sufficiently organised to ensure that such domination was not translated into chances and Karen Bardsley – who barely had a save to make – was rarely stretched. Unperturbed by the imbalance in midfield, Sampson opted to continue with three up front for the second half but, with Jennifer Hermoso excelling in an attacking role for Spain, it arguably represented a high-risk strategy. Yet if the subtlety of Hermoso’s movement and the cleverness of her link play vexed Houghton and Bright, she and her team-mates could not unlock an England defence in which Lucy Bronze shone at right-back.