England have made a winning start to their home women's European Championship campaign as Beth Mead's early goal secured a 1-0 victory over Austria.
In front of a competition-record crowd of 68,871 at a packed Old Trafford in Manchester on Wednesday night, Arsenal striker Mead continued her fine goalscoring form by putting the Lionesses in front in the 16th minute.
Lauren Hemp was subsequently denied by a fine Manuela Zinsberger save in first-half added time, while England and Manchester United goalkeeper Mary Earps did well to push away a Barbara Dunst effort after the break.
"I had no idea what to expect but it was special and I think everybody embraced it really well," England captain Leah Williamson told the BBC.
"We were definitely not at our best, the points on the board is the most important thing but we've got something to work on for the next game, which gives us something to strive for."
Having extended their unbeaten record under boss Sarina Wiegman with a 13th victory in 15 games, England will continue their Group A fixtures next Monday when they take on Norway in Brighton.
"It's the first game of the tournament and so important to win the game to have a good start," England coach Wiegman told the BBC.
"We should have scored a couple of times to make it easier, but overall I'm very happy - we have a win and don't underestimate Austria, they are a very well-organised team.
"I'm not frustrated, I just think we can do better. Sometimes we rushed. We have to be a little calmer in the final stage."
England's other group rivals, Northern Ireland and Norway will face each other tomorrow in Southampton.
Australian Associated Press
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