With more Blues on international duty than ever before, we take a look at all of the action from the past two days with plenty of goals to celebrate.
Our Blues featured across two matches on Thursday and six matches yesterday with Pernille Harder kicking off proceedings with Denmark facing Malta in the first qualifying round for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Harder welcomed the assist from Stine Larsen, who fired the ball across to her at the centre of the goal in the 46th minute. The 4th goal of the night for Denmark also made Harder the highest-scoring Danish player of all time. The Danes ended the night with a 7-0 victory. Chelsea’s Guro Reiten was up next for Norway in Group F, taking home a double figure show-stopping win with 10 goals against Armenia.
Friday’s action took off with Ji So-Yun representing South Korea in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup qualification round that ended with an impressive 12-0 win against Mongolia at the Pakhtakor Stadium in Tashkent. Ji scored, taking her international tally to 59 to become the country’s all-time top scorer. South Korea hope to confirm their place in the finals when they take on Ubekistan on Thursday.
Next up was a raft of FIFA World Cup qualifiers and first in action was Jonna Andersson, Magda Eriksson and Zecira Musovic, who recently took home silver medals representing Sweden at the Tokyo Olympics. Andersson and Eriksson both started against Slovakia with Musovic on the bench for the Group A qualifier.
Sweden’s Fridolina Rolfo got off to a flying start, scoring a right-footed shot from the centre of the box in the 10th minute. The Swedes continued to keep the pressure up for the entirety of the match but were unable to find a second and it finished 1-0. They next face Georgia on Tuesday.
The Lionesses had a winning start with an 8-0 victory over North Macedonia in front of a home crowd at Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium. Our very own Bethany England managed to get two of her own, having only arrived off the bench in the 72nd minute. England had an instant impact, heading home her first in the 77th minute and going on to net a second in the final minute. Other goals came from Ella Toone, Ellen White (2) and Beth Mead (2) with own goals from North Macedonia’s Julija Zivikj and Sara Kolarovska bringing the tally to eight. A great start to England’s first qualifying campaign with Sarina Weignan at the helm, the country’s biggest win since 2015 against Estonia.
Erin Cuthbert continued her strong start to the season with a 2-0 win for Scotland over Hungary. Cuthbert was brought down in the box and awarded a penalty early on in the 17th minute. Although her shot was saved, Cuthbert was quick to react and fired home the rebound to get Scotland off the mark. Although tested throughout, the dominant Scots were able to find a second goal in the 73rd minute with Martha Thomas sealing the win. They will face Faroe Islands next in their campaign on Tuesday.
Another big win on the night came from Wales with a convincing 6-0 triumph against Kazakhstan. Sophie Ingle led Wales out at Llanelli’s Parc y Scarlets Stadium to a warm welcome from their home crowd with Kayleigh Green (2), Natasha Harding and Rachel Rowe all finding the net with a couple of stoppage-time headers from Gemma Evans and Ceri Holland to finish the night. Blues Ingle provided the assist for Harding in the 30th minute and helped to secure the three points for Wales as they hope to go on to qualify for their first major final. Next up they face Estonia.
The final game of the action-packed evening was between Netherlands and Czech Republic. New Blue Aniek Nouwen represented the Dutch in their Group C clash at the Euroborg Stadium. Czech Republic’s Andrea Staskova scored before the half-time mark with the home team leaving it late in the 82nd minute to level, with Nouwen setting up Vivianne Miedema to rescue a point for the Dutch. All eyes for Netherlands are now on next week where they are set to face Iceland.