Bosnia & Herzegovina put in a battling performance to keep out a persistent England side. It wasn’t enough and England made it two wins out of two in World Cup qualifying as they beat Bosnia-Herzegovina in Walsall.
Bosnia managed to keep the scores level until the 19th minute when the goalkeeper, Almina Hodzic, was only able to punch away Danielle Carter’s cross into the path of England Captain Steph Houghton who made no mistake heading into the empty net.
The score would have been a lot higher but for some amazing saves from the athletic Hodzic.
Immediately after half time Nikita Parris scored England’s second after Toni Duggan had cut through the Bosnia & Herzegovina defence.
England’s third was a cleverly taken free kick from just outside the box, Houghton spotted gap in the rather inadequate wall and took full advantage of the space to hammer the ball home.
The visitors were a little hard done by with the referee’s call when their centre forward was harshly adjudged to have fouled her way to a free run on goal, in truth it was a let off for England, but it wouldn’t have affected the final score.
The Lionesses deserved their win and Kirby also deserved her goal, as she stepped up to confidently take a penalty after Carter was wrestled to the ground.
Next up for the Lionesses is Kazakhstan in Colchester on Tuesday (19:05 GMT)
England (4-3-3): 1 Siobhan Chamberlain (Liverpool), 2 Lucy Bronze (Lyon), 5 Steph Houghton (Capt; Manchester City), 6 Millie Bright (Chelsea), 3 Alex Greenwood (Liverpool); 4 Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), 10 Fran Kirby (Chelsea), 8 Isobel Christiansen (Manchester City); 7 Nikita Parris (Manchester City), 9 Danielle Carter (Arsenal), 11 Toni Duggan (Barcelona)
Substitutes: 17 Jo Potter (Reading) for Christiansen 73, 18 Melissa Lawley (Manchester City) for Parris 81
Substitutes not used: 13 Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), 12 Demi Stokes (Manchester City), 14 Jodie Taylor (Arsenal), 16 Karen Carney (Chelsea)
Goals: Houghton 19, 54, Parris 46, Kirby 83
Head coach: Mo Marley
Bosnia & Herzegovina: 1 Almina Hodzic, 3 Antonela Redeljic, 5 Melisa Hasanbegovic, 4 Amira Spahic (capt), 11 Lidija Kulis, 17 Amela Krso, 10 Alisa Spahic, 6 Marija Aleksic, 14 Dajana Spasojevic, 9 Milena Nikolic, 7 Andela Seslija.
Substitutes: 2 Valentina Sakotic for Seslija 45, 8 Aida Hadzic for Alisa Spahic 77, 20 Nikola Milovic for Amira Spahic 90
Substitutes not used: 12 Arnela Sabanovic, 13 Amna Lihovic, 15 Marina Lukic, 16 Alma Kameric
Bookings: Nikolic 59, Kulis 85
Head coach: Samira Hurem
Referee: Ewa Augustyn