England cruised into the FIFA Women's World Cup quarter-finals with a comfortable defeat of Argentina.
Having drawn with Japan and holders Germany in their opening Group A games, England knew victory would set up a last-eight encounter on Saturday, and within ten minutes they were 2-0 up. They had a lucky break for the first goal when Argentina defender Eva González headed in Casey Stoney's cross. Not long afterwards Jill Scott, retaining her midfield place due to Katie Chapman's suspension, let fly from distance, catching out Argentina goalkeeper Romina Ferro. Eniola Aluko hit the crossbar soon after, but the third goal arrived not long past the interval when Kelly Smith was brought down in the box by Catalina Pérez, who received a second yellow card and was dismissed. Fara Williams put away the penalty.
González cancelled out that strike with a fine free-kick on the hour, yet within four minutes Rachel Yankey cut the ball back for Smith to side-foot in from close range. She had another goal – her tournament joint-leading fourth of these finals - when Ferro spilt a Yankey shot and Smith was first to the rebound. González fouled substitute Vicky Exley late on and the latter stepped up to convert the spot-kick. As runners-up behind Germany, who defeated Japan 1-0, England will meet the winners of Group B on Saturday in Tianjin, a game for which Williams will be suspended but Chapman can return.
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