Womens World Cup qualifier: England thrashes Latvia 20-0

England remain top of their World Cup qualifying group with six wins in six games, having scored 53 goals without reply

Ellen White became the Lionesses’ record goalscorer as England overwhelmed Latvia to record their biggest-ever competitive victory.

White, 32, surpassed Kelly Smith’s record of 46 and her hat-trick means she now has 48 goals in 101 appearances for England.

The Manchester City striker needed just nine minutes to break the record, running to the corner flag with her arms outstretched before sliding to the ground and clenching her shirt after doing so.

White’s team-mates sprinted across to celebrate too and applauded as they took their positions for the retake when the new record was announced over the speaker at the Keepmoat Stadium.

It was a night of celebrations all round as Manchester City’s Lauren Hemp scored four – her first goals in an England shirt – while Arsenal’s Beth Mead and Manchester United’s Alessia Russo bagged hat-tricks.

Jess Carter scored her first international goal, Manchester United’s Katie Zelem made her debut and centre-back Millie Bright captained the side at the home of her first club.

In total there were 10 different England goalscorers – Ella Toone, Georgia Stanway, Bethany England, Jill Scott and Jordan Nobbs completing the rout.

The victory signified an end to a disrupted 2021 for England but was the perfect way to cap off an impressive World Cup qualifying campaign under manager Sarina Wiegman so far.

England remain top of their World Cup qualifying group with six wins in six games, having scored 53 goals without reply.

Their 20-0 victory surpassed their previous record competitive win, a 13-0 success against Hungary back in 2005.

“You want competitive games and these are not competitive games,” Wiegman said afterwards.

“In every country you want to develop the women’s game but I don’t think it’s good that the scores are so high. I know it has the attention of the federations and I think that’s good as I don’t think 20-0 is good for the development of anyone.

“We really need some top-level games now which we’re going to have [next year] because then we’ll really know where we are.”

Standing ovation for emotional White

Ellen White
Ellen White slid to the floor in celebration after scoring her second, record-breaking goal

Latvia sit 94 places below England in the world rankings and having beaten them 10-0 last month, it was never expected to be a contest in Doncaster.

All the focus pre-match was around White’s pursuit of the goalscoring record and she did not keep supporters waiting long.

Such was the ruthlessness of England’s opening 23 minutes that the scoreboard operator was overwhelmed by the action and showed the score as 6-0 while it was still only 5-0, before Mead ensured the goals caught up with the scoreboard.

The damage had been done in those opening stages, ensuring a carnival atmosphere broke out at the Keepmoat with drums, Mexican waves, and countless flags in the stands.

The biggest cheer unsurprisingly came when White broke the record – the visibly emotional striker took a moment to close her eyes and take it in while grabbing the badge on her shirt.

She was greeted on the touchline by friend and City team-mate Scott as she headed down the tunnel for half-time, before being congratulated by other substitutes Fran Kirby and Demi Stokes.

In the space of three days, White has become a Lionesses centurion, their record goalscorer and a hat-trick hero.

She will not forget this week any time soon and rightly received a standing ovation when she was substituted early in the second half.

The scenes at full-time were just as memorable. Four match balls were brought out for the quartet who netted three or more goals and White said afterwards she tried to throw hers to her mum in the stands to hold.

Instead she kicked it ahead of her as she joined the rest of the England team on a lap of honour.

England’s top goalscorers
48 – Ellen White
46 – Kelly Smith
44 – Kerry Davis
40 – Karen Walker, Fara Williams
35 – Hope Powell
33 – Eni Aluko
32 – Karen Carney
30 – Gillian Coultard
28 – Marieanne Spacey


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