Match report as England become the first side to score eight goals in a single Euros match in both the men’s and women’s competition; The Lionesses have qualified for the quarter-finals as group winners as their better head-to-head record means they cannot be beaten to top spot
England created their own slice of history as a Beth Mead hat-trick helped them to a stunning 8-0 victory against Norway in their second group game of Euro 2022.
No side had ever scored eight goals in a single Euros match in both the men’s and women’s competition, until the Lionesses ran riot at the Amex Stadium. The victory also sees them through to the quarter-finals as Group A winners, with their head-to-head record meaning they cannot be beaten to the top spot.
While their opening match against Austria was a nervous and rather stilted affair, England finally released the handbrake against a Norway team, who pre-tournament had been talked about as dark horses, with a display that will have many talking about the Lionesses as competition winners.
It was in fact Norway who looked the better in the opening ten or so minutes as England’s predicted toughest game of the group began with some keen defensive work.
But from the 12th minute on, England dominated and didn’t let up in their mission.
England were awarded a penalty early on as Manchester United defender Maria Thorisdottir clumsily fouled Ellen White. Georgia Stanway lined the ball up on the spot, and despite a slightly extended wait to take the kick, did not break her focus as she powered it past the keeper.
Norway had a few half chances between the first and second goal, but England doubled their lead three minutes later. Mead slid the ball across the face of goal, which was expertly back-heeled home by Lauren Hemp and awarded following an VAR check for a wrongly-given off-side.
Not wanting to be left off the scoresheet, White netted her first of the evening – and 51st England goal overall – just before the half hour mark. It was Thorisdottir again who was unable to keep the Manchester City forward in check. It was then an easy turn, stride and strike for White.
But it was a seven-minute period where England established an unassailable lead, doubling their already three-goal advantage.
Mead made it four in the 34th minute, with White again winning back possession from Maren Mjelde before laying the ball into Hemp’s path. It was then a pin-point cross from one winger to the other as Mead nodded home.
Five minutes later, the unstoppable Mead scored her second of the evening as she dinked past Julia Blaksted and Thorisdottir before coolly rolling the ball past a helpless Guro Pettersen.
White netted her second before the break when she met Fran Kirby’s delightful cross in the are with a leaping header, and England ended the first half with a mind-boggling six goals.
While there was not as much of a goal-fest after the break, England were always in control, finally imposing the game we know they can play on the biggest of stages. There were, of course, a few more goals to cap off a record-breaking evening.
Alessia Russo scored her first England goal ten minutes after coming on as a substitute after beating Guro Bergsvand in the air and nodding home the Lionesses’ seventh goal.
The cherry on the cake was Mead’s hat-trick goal shortly before full-time. Thorisdottir again was at fault, failing to stop Keira Walsh’s initial effort and allowing Mead to pounce for a staggering eighth goal of the evening.
The result sees England shoot to the top of Group A and straight into the knockout rounds. They will be back at the Amex Stadium next Tuesday to face the runners-up of Group B. Unfortunately for Northern Ireland, the result means they have been knocked out of their first major international tournament after losing 2-0 to Austria earlier on Monday.
England complete their Euro 2022 group stage campaign with a clash against Northern Ireland at St Mary’s on Friday evening, kick-off 8pm.
Austria are next for Norway at Brighton’s Amex Stadium, with that game kicking off at the same time.