England finish qualifying with a perfect 10 as Stanway triggers Luxembourg rout

Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses concluded their World Cup qualifying campaign top of Group D with 10 wins from 10 games, having scored 80 goals and conceded none after that 10-0 demolition of Luxembourg.

“I don’t think it can get much better than this, so I’m really happy,” she said. “After the Euros it always seems difficult, but I think the team did a great job at the end of the summer.”

Two goals each from Georgia Stanway and substitute Beth England alongside goals from Alessia Russo, Rachel Daly, Beth Mead, Ella Toone, Nikita Parris and Lauren Hemp sealed the emphatic victory at Stoke City’s Bet365 Stadium.

It wasn’t quite the homecoming the FA would have liked for the team’s first home game since winning Euro 2022. At kick-off, the stands were sparsely busy as supporters were decrying a “park and ride trip from hell” with heavy traffic, insufficient parking and taking buses and breakdowns, leaving large numbers of fans stranded and the ground taking an age to reach the eventual attendance of 24,174.

Alessia Russo scores for England against Luxembourg.
Alessia Russo scores England’s second goal against Luxembourg with a header from close range. Photography: Carl Recine/Action Images/Reuters

As a result, the atmosphere was somewhat hushed, with those who had gone through the turnstiles doing their best to give retired Jill Scott, who won the European Championship trophy ahead of the teams, and Wiegman, who received her UEFA Coach of the Year, a welcome commensurate with their achievements.

Any expectation that Wiegman would field a very different starting XI after the World Cup qualifier against Austria on Saturday night was unfounded. The manager made it clear that she didn’t want to kill the momentum of an unbeaten team during her tenure and that came with a desire to put on a show.

Scotland concluded the group stage of their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 6-0 victory over the Faroe Islands in Torshavn. Pedro Martínez Losa’s side, who had already booked their place in the play-offs, scored three goals in the final five minutes of the first half to seal the victory.

Nicola Docherty’s opener was followed by goals from Caroline Weir, Erin Cuthbert and Martha Thomas. Rachel Corsie headed Scotland further in the 53rd minute before Jen Beattie completed a dominant display with her side’s sixth in the 68th minute – PA Media

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Scotland complete qualifying with victory over Faroe Islands

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Scotland concluded the group stage of their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 6-0 victory over the Faroe Islands in Torshavn. Pedro Martínez Losa’s side, who had already booked their place in the play-offs, scored three goals in the final five minutes of the first half to seal the victory.

Nicola Docherty’s opener was followed by goals from Caroline Weir, Erin Cuthbert and Martha Thomas. Rachel Corsie headed Scotland further in the 53rd minute before Jen Beattie completed a dominant display with her side’s sixth in the 68th minute – PA Media

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“You think about the performance, how the players come in and what follows,” Wiegman said. “People come to the stadium to see the England team which they see a lot, so we balance all of those things.” There was room for three changes to the XI which faced Austria, with Ellie Roebuck starting in goal ahead of Wiegman first choice Mary Earps, Alex Greenwood replacing Millie Bright alongside Leah Williamson at full back and Parris instead of Hemp.

It took England 11 minutes to break the deadlock, but the goal should have come sooner. Luxembourg are a young international football team, having been founded in 2003 before playing their first game three years later, and the starting XI included three 18-year-olds and two 16-year-olds.

In the end, a host of English fringe players had made their mark, rewarded for their part on the sidelines of the Euros as Wiegman and his team stuck to their tried and tested formula. “It’s also very pleasant to do. They gave so much to the team, but it starts with performance,” Wiegman said. “When you play a game at 0-0 and you think we have to do that to win that game, you make choices. When we knew we were going to win the game, we wanted to try certain things and certain players. Many of these players participated in the Euros and signed up. Winning the Euros was done by 23 players and also by the preparation camps 28.”

Next up for the European champions is a Wembley meeting with World Cup holders USA and the Czech Republic at the Amex Stadium in October as Wiegman looks to the World Cup in Australia and in New Zealand next summer.

“It’s going to be a very exciting and rowdy night,” Wiegman said of the game against USA. “We’re really looking forward to it being sold again and playing No. 1 in the leaderboard to see where we stand. I think we are well placed. These are the tests you want all the time.

England finish qualifying with a perfect 10 as Stanway triggers Luxembourg rout

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