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  1. ITV Report

Houghton marks England captaincy with 9-0 win

Steph Houghton marks Enlgand captaincy by overwhelming Montenegro 9-0 Photo: Scott Heppell/PA Wire.

Durham-born footballer Steph Houghton has marked her first competitive match as England women's captain by overwhelming Montenegro 9-0 to maintain a flawless start to qualifying for the 2015 World Cup.

The Lionesses have dominated their group in the World Cup qualifiers, having won all five games, scoring 29 goals in the process without seeing their defence breached once.

It was their biggest win since 2005 and the result leaves Montenegro rooted to the foot of the table.

Houghton's appointment as skipper on Friday was no surprise, with Manchester City's defender having for some time looked a strong candidate for a role new manager Mark Sampson has promised is hers for the long term.

"It's a dream come true," Houghton said. "To wear an England shirt and to captain your country is something I've dreamed of since a little girl."

England collectively have dreams too, and they include making sufficient strides to not only reach Canada 2015, but to start challenging for trophies.

Saturday's game against Montenegro saw Houghton win her 45th cap, and Sampson is confident he has selected a bright, innovative on-field leader.

"Steph has many of the qualities needed to be an inspirational leader and the attributes that I want our team to epitomise," said 31-year-old Sampson.

"She's honest, hard-working, ambitious and has a winning attitude. At 25, Steph also has the room and time to improve as a player and grow as a leader, which fits in perfectly with our vision for the team."