Sarina Wiegman and her Lionesses kicked off their Women’s World Cup qualifying campaign against North Macedonia. It was a great first day in the office for Wiegman as England were able to slot a number of goals past the Macedonia side and put themselves at the top of their group.
Throughout the 90 minutes England were dominant and created numerous chances. They looked threatening as soon as the game began as they were able to use the pace of Lauren Hemp on the left hand side and she had Demi Stokes behind her who was able to feed balls through.
It was Toone who had the first clear opportunity. Daly sent the ball in across the front of the goal but Toone’s attempt to get her head onto the end of it and give England the lead was disappointingly unsuccessful.
However it didn’t take Ella Toone long to amend this. A good ball was fed through to her and she made no mistake slotting it past the keeper and opening up the scoring.
Half way through the first half and England were enjoying lots of possession as Macedonia were struggling ti make it out of their own half.
Ellen White was able to show one of the reasons why she was named England player of the year; White was unmarked as she received the ball and had no problem giving England a comfortable 2-0 lead.
Things weren’t getting any better for the away side when Zivikj attempted to clear a cross that came in from a short corner but unfortunately for her the ball found itself in the back of the net instead.
As soon as the second half got underway England were back causing problems for the Macedonia side. They had chance after chance but weren’t able to be as ruthless in the final third. North Macedonia never had the opportunity to try and claw their way back in the game due to the fact the Lionesses were domination possession the same way they did in the first half.
Ellen White was able to bag herself another goal after Williamson was fouled in the box which led to a penalty. White had previously said she didn’t particularly like taking penalties however she was the one to step up and she made no mistake.
Beth England made her way onto the pitch alongside Jill Scott. England has played some of her best football in her recent seasons at Chelsea and showed why she deserved to be in the England side. She grabbed her first goal of the evening as she was able to nod the ball into the net and keep England’s goal tally up!
Not long after it was more disappointment for North Macedonia again as they conceded another own goal.
Rachel Daly exited the pitch not long after and was shown a massive round of applause. It was a really special but no doubt difficult day for her after the sad news that her dad passed away. The England fans made sure they showed their appreciation on what was a great and brave performance from the Houston Dash captain.
Beth England grabbed her second goal when Mead sent a great ball into the box which found England’s head and the ball went straight into the back of the net.
It was Mead who got the final goal of the Lionesses 8-0 win, when she received the ball from England she was able to get herself in the perfect position to fire home the last goal of the evening.
Overall it was a great game to watch with plenty of goal to enjoy. Although a few questions will be raised about the fact that England had 48 shots on goal and were only able to execute 8 of them. Hopefully work will be put in before the Lionesses face Luxemburg on Tuesday where they will hope to have a similar performance.
England: Earps, Daly (Charles 82’minutes), Bright (Wubben-Moy 63’minutes), Greenwood, Stokes, Stanway (England 71’minutes), Williamson, Toone, Mead, White (Scott 72’minutes), Hemp (Parris 63’minutes)
FYR Macedonia: Rechi, Polozhani, Kolarovska, Nikolovska, Zivikj, Saliihi (Petrushevska 79’minutes), Mustafa (Mileska 86’minutes), Andonova, Markovska (Dervishiat 45’minutes), Maksuti (Dimoskaat 90+1’minutes), Rochi