England completed a 100 percent record in their World Cup qualifying group by thrashing Luxembourg 10-0 at the bet365 Stadium. The Lionesses’ near-total dominance of the ball brought five goals before the break, with Georgia Stanway notching a brace including a penalty to open the scoring, and Alessia Russo, Rachel Daly and Beth Mead also on the scoresheet. Substitute Beth England subsequently scored two of her own as the tally was doubled after the break.
Nikita Parris, Ella Toone, with another spot-kick, and Lauren Hemp were the other scorers in what was a first home match since winning the Euros for England, who had already sealed qualification for next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand via a 2-0 away win over Austria three days earlier. Sarina Wiegman’s side finish Group D with their 10 wins from as many games having yielded a total of 80 goals scored, with none conceded.
It was a fifth match in the campaign in which they have hit double figures as they once again brushed aside a Luxembourg outfit ranked 117th in the world who they had also beaten 10-0 in the reverse fixture. England have the very different assignment of a friendly against world champions the United States at Wembley next up on October 7, going back to the scene of their Euros triumph in July.
The crowd of 24,174 in attendance in Stoke showed their appreciation before kick-off as the trophy the team had lifted 37 days earlier was brought out onto the pitch by recently-retired midfielder Jill Scott, and Wiegman was presented with her UEFA women’s coach of the year award.
It then took just over 10 minutes of the match for England’s thorough bossing of possession to lead to a goal, with Russo being fouled by Catherine Have in the box and Stanway slotting the resulting penalty past Lucie Schlime into the corner of the net. Russo saw one shot well saved by Schlime and put another wide before doubling the lead with a close-range header in the 18th minute. Alex Greenwood almost made it 3-0 soon after with a header that hit the post and Stanway then did so five minutes later, meeting Mead’s cut-back with a low finish.
The one-way traffic continued with Daly’s header and Mead’s finish in the 38th and 39th minutes taking the hosts to five, and Schlime doing well to deny Russo again in first-half stoppage time. Wiegman made three changes at the break, including replacing Russo with England – who took little time to further boost the hosts’ lead, tapping in three minutes after the restart from Mead’s cross. As a Mexican wave went around the stadium, England then almost suffered embarrassment as goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck allowed the ball to roll under her foot towards goal, but she was able to get to it before it crossed the line. Normal service was swiftly resumed as Parris sent a 59th-minute shot past Schlime for number seven. And Parris then won the penalty, being fouled by Julie Marques Abreu, that Toone stroked home to make it 8-0 on 73 minutes. The rout was subsequently completed with two goals in the final few minutes as substitute Hemp, who had replaced Mead just past the hour, fired in after Lucy Bronze’s header was parried by Schlime, and England then headed in for 10-0.
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