England Women advanced to the World Cup finals with a 5-0 win in Northern Ireland, thanks to doubles from Georgia Stanway and Lauren Hemp. Aim from Georgia Stanway, Lauren Hemp, and Ella Toone put England Women on the edge of fitting the edge for the World Cup finals with a 5-0 win over Northern Ireland in their penultimate serious game before the European Championships this late spring.
Sarina Wiegman’s group now simply needs a point in their next qualifier, against Austria in September. To get a spot in the following year’s opposition in Australia and New Zealand. Yet even a misfortune in that game would leave them having just to beat Luxembourg in their last game to progress.
Before traveling to a crowded Windsor Park, the Lionessses had scored 10 goals in each of their three away qualifiers. But they found their hosts far more tenacious opponents and could only get past Jacqueline Burns. Once before halftime, when Hemp’s unorthodox close-range strike looped over her.
As the hosts wore down, they found things easier at halftime, with Ella Toone scoring her 10th England women team goal. After rounding Burns, Hemp added her second three minutes later, seven minutes into the second half. After good work on the left by Toone, Stanway scored the first of a nine-minute hat trick with an easy finish. Before completing the route with a hooked half-volley that nestled in the bottom corner around Sarah McFadden. As a result of their poor head-to-head record. With second-placed Austria’s 8-0 win over Latvia, the hosts are no longer able to qualify for the finals.
England’s women behind their big win
“They could’ve been more dynamic in the first half, but credit to Northern Ireland; they banked up and made it difficult, so England women couldn’t find the spaces at first.”
“It was a lot better in the second half, being clinical in front of goal and the movement was much better. And it was a job well done for England women, to put it that way.”
England displays a decisive technique
Sarina Wiegman, England’s women manager, praised the team’s maturity in one of the toughest environments they’ve faced in recent years. In front of over 16,000 spectators in Belfast. In an opening 45 minutes in which England women had more than 80% control. But their stoic back five was found wanting at times. The hosts were just as tenacious as their vociferous home crowd.
Patience was as important as talent for the Lionesses, who maintained their intensity. And rewarded for their efforts as Northern Ireland women battled to keep up. The visitors’ second goal aided by luck, with Hemp’s air kick serving. As the ideal dummy for Toone to sneak in and score, and their third goal also aided by luck. With Leah Williamson’s slide-rule ball being cut out by McFadden but falling pleasantly for Hemp to round Burns and score.
The host were showing signs of exhaustion by the hour mark when Toone allowed. To come inside from the left and make an unchallenged run into the box, square for England women Stanway to the net. The fifth was a similar story, with Hemp’s knockdown converted by the Man City midfielder over McFadden’s tiring challenge.