England Women thrash Latvia 20-0 in record-breaking World Cup qualifier

England thrashed Latvia 20-0 in a record-breaking qualifying match for the 2023 Women’s World Cup

England thrashed Latvia 20-0 in a record-breaking qualifying match for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

The Lionesses took on Latvia, a team ranked 94 places below them, at the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster.

It was the second time the two sides had met in the World Cup qualifying campaign. England had triumphed 10-0 in the first fixture in October, an ominous sign for what was to come. 

This time around, the Lionesses scored twice the amount of goals. Beth Mead opened the scoring, and was eventually one of four players to grab a hat-trick.

Alessia Russo also scored three goals, while Ellen White smashed the England Women all-time goalscoring record with a hat-trick of her own.

The 32-year-old White now has 48 international goals, surpassing Kelly Smith’s previous record of 46 goals.

Manchester City teammate, Lauren Hemp, was on the scoresheet for England for the first time in her career, racking up four goals in total.

Jess Carter was another to score her first international goal, with Ella Toone, Georgia Stanway, Bethany England, Jill Scott and Jordan Nobbs also hitting the back of the net.

The 20-0 victory is a record scoreline for the Lionesses. Their previous record was a 13-0 win against Hungary back in 2005.

“I feel very emotional about [breaking the record.] It’s been spoken about for a long time,” White told ITV after the match. 

“I feel really proud of the girls, we’ve got some of the girls that have scored their first goal for England. I love scoring for England so seeing them score – they’re coming through now – so I feel really proud.

“It’s incredible. I feel really lucky, I’ve had amazing support from my family, my friends, coaches, teammates and staff. But I’m not stopping here, I want to keep going – I want to score goals for England.”

The Lionesses top their World Cup qualifying group with six wins from six matches. They have scored an incredible 53 goals during their campaign, conceding zero. 

It has been a new era for England since manager Sarina Wiegman first took charge in September. Wiegman was previously with the Netherlands, helping the team win Euro 2017 and reach the final of the 2019 World Cup. 

“The opponent wasn’t very good,” Wiegman said. “The difference was so big in level. But still you have to make the game yourself, you have to speed up the game all the time, you have to stay in shape and make the right decisions and be tight on the the ball.

“We did so well and we just kept on going and the energy stayed in the team for the whole game, and that is pretty impressive.”

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