Women's European Championship Qualifying - Group 7
EnglandEngland7Serbia WomenSerbia Women0

England Women 7-0 Serbia Women

By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport
Highlights: England 7-0 Serbia - Lionesses dominate in Euro qualifier

Karen Carney scored a hat-trick as England put the spring back into their European Championship qualifying campaign with an easy win over Serbia.

Having failed to inspire in three previous qualifiers, a new-look side were rejuvenated with Alex Greenwood's angled finish earning an early goal.

Carney's penalty and Rachel Daly's debut goal sealed a 3-0 half-time lead.

Ellen White and Izzy Christiansen made it 5-0 before Carney scored twice from close range against the poor visitors.

Serbia, who played their last qualifier in November and are 41 places below England at 45 in the world rankings, looked unfit and barely got into the England half, let alone carved out a chance.

But after four goals in their last six matches, Mark Sampson's Lionesses rediscovered their goalscoring touch and entertained a 5,503 crowd at Wycombe's Adams Park with an added pace to their passing and movement.

The victory puts them within a point of Group Seven leaders Belgium, with England having a game in hand, and should they beat Serbia again on Tuesday it will guarantee a runners-up spot in the group.

Eight group winners and six runners-up will earn a place at Euro 2017 in the Netherlands next summer. The other two group runners-up will go into a play-off for the last remaining place at the finals.

Rachel Daly
Rachel Daly, who has played in England youth teams and started her career as a defender, was set up selflessly by Ellen White

New faces help England rediscover fluency

Daly made her England debut after some impressive displays in the United States for Houston Dash, and the Harrogate-born striker was one of several new faces in the side.

Both the 24-year-old and White started instead of regular strikers Eniola Aluko and Toni Duggan, who were left out of the squad, and both grasped their opportunities.

Notts County striker White was making her first start since England's World Cup third-place play-off win against Germany last July and wasted little time in making her mark by hitting the post early on and winning Carney's first-half penalty.

She then selflessly set up Daly, who made no mistake from close range, and capitalised on poor Serbian defending to score her first goal since 2013.

Christiansen also offered added industriousness in midfield after returning from an ankle injury to score her second England goal.

And Nikita Parris, who replaced Daly to also make her England debut, almost scored with her first touch before causing havoc as the scoreline became embarrassing for the visitors.

Karen Carney
Karen Carney said she "knew nothing" about her third goal but will hope for more for the trip to Serbia on Tuesday

Fortunate Carney boosts goals tally

Having scored 52 goals in their 10 qualifying games for last year's World Cup, England have been through a lean spell recently, managing just three goals in their last three Euro 2017 qualifiers after beating Estonia 8-0 last September.

After Greenwood found the bottom corner for England's best goal from Fara Williams' cute pass, Carney helped end that run, albeit a little untidily, as two of her three goals were bundled home in the second half.

As the Serbian defence failed to clear a corner, the Chelsea midfielder poked in from a yard out and then took advantage of an attempted Serbian clearance as it fortuitously cannoned into the net off her foot.

Her smile afterwards told how little she knew about the goal, but her display and an improved performance brought back the cheer to the England side after a difficult period over the winter.

It also showed that Sampson has plenty of options with which to find the right blend in his squad as he attempts to lead England to next year's European Championship in the Netherlands.

Player of the match - Ellen White

Ellen White
Karen Carney scored a hat-trick but Ellen White had a hand in three goals and was impressive throughout

England reaction

Head coach Mark Sampson: "It was a pleasing performance. It is important to be clinical in front of goal and credit to the players. This week their attitude has been exceptional and they deserved this performance. You can feel it when we get the preparation right, so we are really pleased.

"It is important to score goals but it was another clean sheet as well. We stayed solid and organised and showed inventiveness in final third and also I have to say a special mention to the two debutants."

Midfielder Karen Carney: "It was special but I didn't really know much about two of the goals! I think we played really well and it was a good thing to get the Lionesses back on the map.

"I think we have found our rhythm of game well so we are excited for the next game."

What next?

England travel to Serbia on Tuesday for the away fixture, and a victory would take them above leaders Belgium and guarantee at least second place in the group.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 4th June 2016

As It Stood


3Slovenia Women6303211389
4Belarus Women5104217-153
5Macedonia Women6006237-350


2Finland Women54011541112
4R. of Ireland Wom6204813-56
5Montenegro Women6006229-270


2Romania Women6312117410
3Ukraine Women63121110110
4Greece Women6204913-46
5Albania Women7007325-220


3Slovakia Women73041011-19
4Poland Women6213610-47
5Moldova Women5005118-170


3Hungary Women6222717-108
4Croatia Women62138717
5Turkey Women7016123-221


3N Ireland Wom4202911-26
4Czech Rep Wom5203814-66
5Georgia Women7016224-221


3Serbia Women521259-47
4Bos-Herze Wom6204513-86
5Estonia Women6006027-270


4Kazakhstan Women7115220-184
5Israel Women502325-32
View full Women's European Championship Qualifying tables

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