England women beat France 4-1 in Neville’s coaching debut
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Former English star Phil Neville made a successful coaching debut when England routed France 4-1 Thursday in the opener of the SheBelieves Cup women’s soccer tournament.
Neville made 59 appearances for England from 1996-2007 and won six Premier League titles with Manchester United before moving to Everton. He was hired by The Football Association on Jan. 23, 1½ years ahead of the Women’s World Cup.
Since retiring a player after the 2012-13 season, he had worked as a commentator and as first-team coach at Manchester United and as an assistant at Valencia. He is the younger brother of former Manchester United captain Gary Neville.
Third-ranked England built a 3-0 halftime lead on goals by Toni Duggan in the seventh minute, Jill Scott in the 28th and Jodie Taylor in the 39th. Fran Kirby boosted the lead in the 46th. Gaetene Thiney scored for in the 77th for sixth-ranked France.
The tournament also includes the top-ranked United States and No. 2 Germany.