England produced a spectacular performance in front of a sell-out crowd as they hammered Norway 8-0 at the Brighton Community Stadium to ease into the quarter-finals of the WEUROs.
Just under 30,000 fans left with memories to last a lifetime as England became the first side – men or women - to score seven goals in the finals of the European Championships with Arsenal’s Beth Mead crowning a brilliant night with a hat-trick.
Incredibly, England led 6-0 at half-time and they could easily have scored more goals in a rampant performance.
Head coach Sarina Wiegman had urged England to start positively and they tore into Norway, opening the scoring in the 11th minute when Ellen White turned Maria Thorisdottir inside the box and was brought down for a penalty confidently converted by Georgia Stanway.
Five minutes later Thorisdottir played Lauren Hemp onside and she made it 2-0 from close range.
Norway had a spell of pressure but White dispossessed Thorisdottir in the 29th minute before producing a confident finish for 3-0 but England were just warming up.
White created the fourth, nicking the ball off Maren Mjelde to find Hemp and her curling cross is headed in by Mead, who then made it 5-0 when she picked her way through Norway’s defence and finished emphatically.
White got her second from Fran Kirby’s cross for the sixth and there was no let-up by England in the second half, even though they made several substitutions. One of the replacements, former Albion forward Alesia Russo, made it 7-0 with a fine downward header into the corner and with eight minutes to go Mead tapped in to complete her hat-trick.
England have won their group with a game to spare. They face Northern Ireland at Southampton on Friday while the Brighton Community Stadium stages the other Group One fixture between Norway and Austria.
But the Lionesses will be back in Brighton on Wednesday July 20 for their quarter-final.
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