London, Jul 11 (EFE).- Host England trounced Norway 8-0 in Women’s Euro 2022 Group A action on Monday, earning the most lopsided victory in the history of that regional soccer tournament and booking their spot in the quarterfinals.
Earlier in the day, Austria bounced back from a 1-0 loss in their opening match against the Three Lionesses to defeat Northern Ireland 2-0.
The England-Norway match at Falmer Stadium in Brighton and Hove pitted the world’s eighth- and 11th-ranked teams, respectively, and seemed to have all the ingredients for a competitive battle.
Instead, fans were witness to an unprecedented first-half scoring barrage and the largest margin of victory in a European Championship match – men’s or women’s.
Georgia Stanway notched the first goal when she converted a penalty opportunity in the 12th minute, while Lauren Hemp doubled England’s lead in the 15th minute.
The game started getting out of hand early when Ellen White – the English women’s team’s all-time leading scorer – made the score 3-0 with a goal in the 29th minute.
Beth Mead got in on the act in the 34th minute when she headed home a pass from Hemp and then scored again four minutes later when she beat a defender and scored on a cross-shot.
White completed her brace in the 41st minute when she got on the other end of a superb pass by Stanway to give her team a sixth goal, a record for the first half of a Euro contest.
Although the scoring pace slowed in the second half, Alessia Russo made the score 7-0 at the 66-minute mark and Mead completed her hat-trick – her fourth for the Lionesses – in the 81st minute to cap off England’s historic victory and become the tournament’s first quarter-finalist.
In Women’s Euro 2022’s other match Monday, Austria imposed their dominance on a weak Northern Irish squad at St. Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, England.
Katharina Schiechtl gave the Austrians the only goal they would need when she scored from close range in the 19th minute.
Austria then controlled the action for the rest of the contest, allowing their opponents only a pair of harmless forays into their area.
But it was not until the 81st minute that the favorites put the game out of reach with a goal by Katharina Naschenweng.
Northern Ireland, who lost 4-1 to Norway last Thursday in their first match of Euro 2022, have now been eliminated from the competition.
Austria will next square off against Norway on Friday at Falmer Stadium for a spot in the tournament’s final eight. EFE