Seventh heaven for super Lionesses

England Women v Austria Women – International Friendly – Estadio Nuevo Mirador – Report

England Women 7-2 Austria Women 

In the first of their two-match February training camp in Marbella, the Lionesses bounced back from the disappointment of missing out on qualification for Great Britain at this summer’s Paris Olympic games with Alessia Russo and Beth Mead both netting twice in a resounding 7-2 thrashing of Austria at the Estadio Nuevo Mirador.

Russo put England one up after just three minutes and with Sarina Wiegman’s side dominant from the start in the rain in Algeciras, Manchester United’s Grace Clinton, presently on loan at Tottenham Hotspur, saw her shot from the edge of the area cannon off the bar on the quarter of an hour mark before marking her international debut with a goal just minutes later after nodding home Lauren Hemp’s cross from close range.

Virginia Kirchberger, unmarked in the box, headed home from a corner to pull one back for Austria – only for Mead’s curling effort from inside the box to make it 3-1 to cap an outstanding first-half performance from the Lionesses.

Just after the hour mark, Georgia Stanway played in the ever-dangerous Russo to slot the ball home past Arsenal teammate Manuela Zinsberger to make it 4-1 and Jess Carter made it five in the seventieth minute when flicking home Lotte Wubben-Moy’s header following a corner.

Eintracht Frankfurt defender Kirchberger headed her second of the evening two minutes from time – only for England to hit back immediately when Lauren James broke free of the Austrian defence with her shot rebounding back off the post for Mead following up to fire home her second – and the Lionesses’ sixth.

Deep into stoppage time, after finding herself through one-on-one with Zinsberger, Rachel Daly fired high into the roof of the net from close range to make it 7-2 to round off the evening with a flourish.

Coach Wiegman spoke to ITV Sport following the match: “I’m just really happy with this game, the way we played, the dominance we wanted to get on the pitch.

“In defence, we ran a high press and wanted to win the ball back as quickly. We scored seven goals which is really good and created lots of chances.

“I am happy with the seven goals and the performance, but we conceded two goals from corners.”

When asked about the previous disappointment of missing out on Olympics qualification, Wiegman added: “I think also in December we had a very good camp and two good games, two very intense games but the Netherlands scored more goals than we did and we have to move on and we have the opportunity now to play these friendlies and try the different combinations.

“Then the full concentration is on the Euro qualifiers.”

England are in action again on Tuesday when they are due to face Italy at Estadio Nuevo Mirador once more on Tuesday (5pm).

England: Hampton, Le Tissier, Charles (Carter 62’) Stanway (Walsh 78’) Morgan, Greenwood (Capt) (Wubben-Moy 46’) Mead, Clinton (Park 62’) Russo (Daly 62’) Hemp (James 46’) Toone Subs not used: Keating, Bronze, Earps, Turner, Beever-Jones

Austria: Zinsberger, Schiechtl (Hanshaw 63’) Dunst (Kolb 88’) Zadrazil, Georgieva, Campbell (Billa 77’) Kirchberger, Hobinger (Schasching 77’) Puntigam (Feiersinger 63’) Purtscheller, Naschenweng Subs not used: D’Angelo, Klein, Pinther, Kresche, Pal

Referee: Ainara Andrea Acevedo Dudley

Fourth Official: Ylenia Sanchez Miguel

Attendance: 949