Striker Nikita Parris is full of confidence for quarter-final clash with France

27 July 2017 11:23

Nikita Parris believes England have France running scared ahead of their quarter-final at the Women's European Championship.

The Manchester City striker struck the winner as a largely second-string Lionesses side beat Portugal 2-1 in Tilburg on Thursday to make it three wins from three and top Group D.

England, who beat Scotland and Spain earlier in their campaign, will swiftly turn their focus to a France side who scraped through in second place from Group C.

And although the Lionesses have not beaten the French since 1974, Sunday's last-eight match in Deventer seems as likely an occasion as ever for that unwanted record to end.

Parris shot home early in the second half to add to Toni Duggan's opener, and the 23-year-old said: "We've got so much momentum.

"We've played excellent - from the girls who played against Scotland and Spain to the girls who played tonight.

"It was a great team effort and I just can't wait to go into the France game now.

"Obviously you've got to respect France but we're in a great position, we're in good form, and I think they'll be more scared of us than we are of them."

Duggan made a similar point, saying on Channel 4: "When you get to the latter rounds you're going to face tougher and tougher opposition.

"France are no different, but with the form the girls are in I don't think France will want to play us, so hopefully it can come out in our hands, but it's going to be a big game and it's one we're looking forward to."

Duggan, whose goal was her second of the tournament and came on her 50th England appearance, said she now wants to catch four-goal Jodie Taylor, who leads the scoring table but was rested against Portugal.

"I've said to 'JT' that I'm chasing her goal tally now," Duggan said.

Duggan will head to Barcelona after the tournament to link up with her new club, after leaving Manchester City.

She feared she had spurned the early chance that came her way thanks to a poor kick out from Portugal goalkeeper Patricia Morais, and was relieved to see her chip dip under the bar.

"I thought, 'That's missed', but thankfully it went in," Duggan said.

And she praised her former City team-mate and fellow Liverpudlian Parris for restoring England's lead after Portugal drew level with Mark Sampson's side.

"I'm just delighted for 'Keets'," Duggan said.

"She's probably come into this tournament not expecting too many minutes, but to come here and start this game, and find out a bit late as well, and then get on the scoresheet, with friends and family in the crowd you could see how much it meant to her.

"I'm buzzing for her, my fellow little scouser."

Source: PA