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Nikita Parris the outstanding performer in England’s assured start | Eni Aluko

Because of the rivalry, Scotland are probably the toughest test for Phil Neville’s side in the group stage so to start the World Cup with a 2-1 win represents a job well done

As World Cup opening matches go, I thought it was a very assured and professional performance from England considering the anticipation there had been building up to the game against Scotland. Because of rivalry between the two countries and the familiarity that exists among the players, it was always going to be a difficult hurdle to overcome for Phil Neville’s side and I was impressed by the way they approached the task. They looked like a team who are ready to play seven games in the tournament.

I’ve seen some of the analysis that England must do much better if they are going to go all the way but I don’t think that is fair at all. For me, this was probably their hardest game of the group. Yes, Japan have reached the final at the last two World Cups but this is a completely different team with very young players who have one eye on next year’s home Olympics.

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