Impetus’ Darrell Allen and Jorge Ceron round-up on a dramatic evening of action in Group A. Darrell reviews England’s sensational demolition of Norway whilst Jorge’s reflects on Austria’s game with Northern Ireland which sets them up with a chance of a Quarter-Final berth (12/7/22).
Above: The sheer joy of the Lionesses was reflected around the whole of the English women’s football family after last night’s stunning result in Brighton. Photo: Lionesses.
England produced arguably their greatest ever performance last night in Brighton to demolish Norway, one of the potential tournament winners 8-0. I reflect on the key aspects of the victory below.
Georgia Stanway lifted The American Express Community Stadium off its feet in the most perfect way with a superbly struck penalty to give liftoff to this extraordinary night in Brighton.
Everyone watching collectively held their breath when the ball was placed on the spot but the no-nonsense Stanway from Barrow-in-Furness was the coolest person in Brighton as she thundered her penalty into the top corner and we had take off on this night of fairytale proportions.
Following the opening verse from Stanway, England went on to dismantle Norway before the interval.
Lauren Hemp had a nervous wait from VAR but she was comfortably onside and her smile said it all when the goal was given.
England went on to produce one of their greatest performances as braces from Beth Mead and Ellen White ensured that England led by six at half time.
This was a performance, a display of footballing brilliance, and a battering for Norway of seismic proportions.
Despite a wonderful team performance, there is only one name on the lips of every England fan right now and that’s Beth Mead.
The Arsenal striker is making so many friends across the country who she will never even meet. Mead added to her first-half brace by completing her hat trick in the second half.
Like on Wednesday when a Mead goal won the points against Austria, she stole the show again with a hat trick and superb performance to take the headlines in a wonderful team performance down on the south coast.
Beth Mead is an inspiration to a nation in need of feeding off positivity, and you sense there is plenty more to come before July is out.
Safe Second Half
It wasn’t supposed to be this easy, but with every passing minute, it was a joy that football fans rarely experience, a walk in the park some may call it.
Those six first half goals meant it was set up for a safe second half with no worries for England.
Russo made it seven before the inspirational Mead rounded off the scoring on an extraordinary evening.
However, Sarina Wiegman will be most pleased with the clean sheet and the attitude shown in maintaining responsibility and ensuring Norway did not find the net. The perfect night for England in all departments of the pitch.
Top marks to Brighton and everyone who attended last night’s game at the American Express Community Stadium.
The atmosphere was brilliant from start to finish, of course helped by the rampant performance from England but take nothing away from the 28,847 spectators, they were superb.
It was noticeable that Norway supporters were on their feet at the end of the game applauding England and that shows the respect everyone has for each other in the women’s game.
This wonderful night meant England secured their place in the Quarter Finals and are already confirmed as winners of Group A.
This sets up Freedom Friday where England face Northern Ireland in Southampton knowing the job of qualification is complete. However, this will be like the final for Northern Ireland who will be heading home after the match, so they will be going all out to make a real statement.
Sarina Wiegman may try a few different personnel but she will allow no let up to the extraordinary performance of the Norway game. The standard has been set and the thought of what could lie ahead between and 31st July is something for all fans of women’s football in England to enjoy.
Teams: ENGLAND (4-2-3-1): Earps, Bronze, Bright, Williamson, Daly, Walsh, Stanway, Mead, Kirby, Hemp, White. Subs: Greenwood, Carter, Hampton, Stokes, Scott, Parris, Kelly, England, Toone, Roebuck, Russell
Scorers: Stanway 12′ (pen), Hemp 15′, White 29′, 41, Mead 34′, 38′, 81′, Russo 66′.
NORWAY (4-2-3-1): Patterson, T.Hansen, Thorisdottir, Mjelde, Blakstad, Engen, Boe Risa, Saevik, G.Hansen, Reiten, Hegerberg, Subs: Sonstevold, Bergsvand, Skogland, Ildhusoy, Eikeland, Bjelde, Maanum, Terland, Skinnes Hansen, Josendal, Haug, Mikalse.
Referee: Riem Hussein.
Austria See Off Northern Ireland To Set-Up Qualifying Decider With Norway
by Jorge Ceron
On a day in which the eyes of the world were taken by the spectacular 8-0 win by England over Norway, the game between Austria and Northern Ireland was also played, a key match for both team’s hopes to stay alive in the tournament, since the the nation that lost would be saying goodbye to the competition early.
The Austrians went into the game in Southampton as slight favourites, and with the better of the two matches in the World Cup qualifiers between the two nations which ended 3-1 in their favour in Vienna, and ended 2-2 in Belfast.
From the beginning of the game an Austrian dominance was shown, and before the tenth minute, Barbara Dunst had already had the first clear opportunity for the Austrians, and those dressed in red and white did not allow the Northern Irish to cross midfield. The dominance continued continued with striker Nicole Billa, who has had very few opportunities in the tournament, putting a shot that wide.
It was from a free-kick in the 18th minute that barely deflected in off of the Werder Bremen defender Katharina Schiechtl that the Austrians put themselves in front on the scoreboard. It took until the 41st minute for the next chance to arrive. It came via an error from Northern Ireland goalkeeper Jacqueline Burns in clearnign the ball, but she produced a good save from Dunst.
At the beginning of the second half, aware that with this score they were almost eliminated, Northern Ireland put pressure on Austria, but the Green and Whites could trouble the Austrian defence.
After failing to take advantage of any opportunities, Austria controlled the remainder of the game and their best moments came. From the 80th minute, they earned three corner kicks, and had a shot on goal, before the second goal came in the 88th minute through defender Katharina Elisa Naschenweng of Hoffenheim.
Austria know they only need a draw against Norway to qualify for the quarter-finals on Friday. Norway need to bounce back from the huge scars of their loss to England in order to deny the Austrian side.
AUSTRIA (4-1-4-1): Zinsberger, Schiechtl, Wenninger, Schnaderbeck, Aschauer, Puntigam, Dunst, Zadrazil, Höbinger, Füller, Biller.
Scorers: Schiechtl 19′, Naschenweng 88′.
NORTHERN IRELAND (4-4-2): Burns, Holloway, McFadden, Nelson, McKenna, Wade, McCarron, Furness, Vance, Callaghan, McGuiness.
Referee: Emikar Caldera.