Women’s World Cup: Jodie Taylor and Beth Mead on the secret behind England’s winning goal against Argentina

Mark Critchley
The Independent

Jodie Taylor and Beth Mead believe that rooming together at the Women’s World Cup was the secret behind England’s decisive goal in the hard-fought 1-0 victory over Argentina on Friday night.

Taylor ended a 14-month goal drought at international level to secure two wins from two for the Lionesses’ in France and qualify for the knock-out stages.

Her 18th strike in England colours was set up by a perfectly-placed, low and drilled cross from the left wing by Mead, who impressed while deputising for the injured Toni Duggan.

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Mead and Taylor are sharing a room on England’s travels around France, having briefly played together at club level with Arsenal, and after their crucial intervention in Le Havre on Friday night, both believe their blossoming relationship off-the-pitch is beginning to help on it.

“I just knew where Beth was going to play it,” Taylor said. “It must be roommates and becoming more connected. It was such a good ball from Beth and I was in the right place to time my run and put it in the back of the net.”

“I’m happy to contribute in whatever way I can,” Mead added. “Jodie and I have been working a lot on things like that in training, trying to get on the same wavelength and it has paid off.”

“I do believe the closer you are as a team the better your performance will be on the pitch,” said Taylor. “You’re more likely to work harder for each other, to show belief in each other and encourage each other.

“We’ve got a really good team togetherness, not only with Beth as my roommate but the other girls in the team. The camaraderie in the group is good and we just go from strength to strength.”

Taylor won the Golden Boot at England’s last major international tournament, the 2017 European Championships in the Netherlands, scoring five goals as the Lionesses reached the quarter-finals.

Yet she had not scored in an England shirt since April 2018 before Friday night, and she was left out of Phil Neville’s starting line-up for last Sunday’s opening game against Scotland, with Ellen White preferred up front.

After the final whistle in Le Havre, Taylor insisted that her 14-month international goal drought had not played on her mind. “Not until all of you people start bringing it up,” she joked. “It’s not until I think about it, because it’s the same process whether you score or not.

“You’re still trying to be in the right place at the right time. A lot of it comes down to service and quality. I’m the first one to admit that I score goals because of my team-mates. At the Euros, I won the Golden Boot because of the quality of my team-mates.

“I think the ball from Beth Mead absolutely shows that. I think being out with injury for five or six months of international football… I was on the other side with a few assists at the SheBelieves.

“Unless you’ve got people like you with your phones out, telling me it’s been 14 months, it’s just nice to score at major tournaments. It’s what it’s all about, to help the team do well. It’s brilliant.”

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