Coach of England’s female national team, Mark Sampson has showered praises on Nigerian-born Eniola Aluko for leading them to the final of Cyprus Cup, eyeonthesports.com reports.
England had to come from behind to remain unbeaten after striker Anna Miedema gave the Netherlands an 18th-minute lead in their crucial match on Monday.
A wonderful solo goal by Eniola Aluko however levelled the scores four minutes before half-time, and England maintained the result and qualified to meet Canada in Wednesday’s Cyprus Cup final.
While commenting on England’s qualification, Sampson said: “Eni’s goal was just fantastic”.
“You’ve got to be a special player to score a goal out of nothing and that’s what Eni did. It was a difficult game for her against a team that dominates the ball.
“Eni had to be patient and she didn’t get many opportunities, but she scored when the team needed it and it was a very important moment for us”, Sampson said.
On the team’s display, Sampson said: “Overall I thought it was a pleasing team performance”.
Goalkeeper Karen Bardsley, captain for the first time, was beaten when Miedema scored from close range after midfielder Danielle van de Donk had carved open the defence.
But in the 41st minute, Aluko, collecting the ball midway in the Dutch half, went on a diagonal run that took her past four defenders before curling a 10-yard shot past Geurts.
It was the striker’s 32nd international goal, 19 of them coming in her last in 27 appearances for England.
England will battle Canada in the final after the Canadians beat Italy 1-0 to complete their three-match Group A programme with a 100 per cent record.
It will be the third time that England and Canada have clashed in the Cyprus final, England lifting the trophy with a 3-1 win in 2009 before winning 1-0 in 2013.