Match report: England WU23s 11-0 Estonia
Liverpool midfielder Missy Bo Kearns and University of North Carolina’s Ruby Grant both scored hat-tricks as England women’s under-23s recorded an emphatic 11-0 victory against Estonia at St. George’s Park.
Senior team head coach Sarina Wiegman is keen for the young players coming through to have regular fixtures and the talent at her disposal was evident during an impressive display from the Young Lionesses.
This was the Under-23s’ second game in the last month, having beaten Belgium 1-0 at the end of October courtesy of Katie Robinson’s goal.
And England dominated possession from the off against Estonia but had to wait until the 18th minute for their first clear-cut chance, but when it did come, it was taken.
West Ham United midfielder Melisa Filis created the space inside the Estonia half when she found Bo Kearns with a reverse pass. The Liverpool midfielder then slipped the ball through to Harries as the Reading striker timed her run perfectly before slotting the ball past Getriin Strigin when one-on-one.
It was then 2-0 less than ten minutes later when it was roles reversed. This time Harries sent in a low cross from the right and Bo Kearns showed good composure inside the box to control and drill the ball into the bottom corner from eight yards out.
England then all-but ensured victory with two goals in as many minutes shortly before the interval.
First, George powerfully headed in Taylor Hinds’ corner, with the Estonia defender only able to head into the roof of the net, and then moments later it was 4-0 when Bo Kearns smashed the ball into the bottom corner from inside the area after another delivery from the right.
There was almost a fifth in first-half injury-time when a superb mazy run from Ellie Brazil saw her pull the ball across the goal but the lively Jessica Naz had her shot saved superbly by Strigin.
Racing Louisville striker Ebony Salmon came on at the break and had two chances early in the second half.
But the fifth goal was to come through a familiar source, as a lovely through ball from Grant released Bo Kearns and the midfielder finished confidently from 15 yards for her hat-trick.
England’s dominance continued and it was then 6-0 before the hour was up, as a low cross from the left was stabbed home from close range by Grant.
The University of North Carolina midfielder then added her second two minutes later when Salmon got to the byline and pulled the ball back, leaving Grant to finish well with the outside of her boot.
And one minute later it was 8-0 courtesy of arguably the goal of the game. Substitute Robinson cut in from the left and sent a curling strike from outside the area into the far, top corner.
England kept pushing for more and the ninth arrived inside the final ten minutes when Hinds sent a low drive from the corner of the penalty area into the bottom corner.
There was still time for two more though and for Grant to complete her hat-trick after she finished confidently when through one-on-one.
And the rout was completed by Hinds in injury-time when her low shot was too powerful and went through the arms of the goalkeeper.
England: 1 Emily Ramsey (Birmingham City, loan from Manchester United), 2 Maya Le Tissier (Brighton & Hove Albion), 3 Taylor Hinds (Liverpool), 4 Melisa Filis (West Ham United), 5 Anna Patten (Arsenal) ©, 6 Gabrielle George (Everton), 7 Ellie Brazil (Brighton & Hove Albion), 8 Missy Bo Kearns (Liverpool), 9 Emma Harries (Reading), 10 Ruby Grant (University of North Carolina), 11 Jessica Naz (Tottenham Hotspur)
Substitutes: 13 Fran Bentley (Bristol City, loan from Man Utd) for Ramsey 46, 17 Katie Robinson (Brighton & Hove Albion) for Naz 46, 19 Ebony Salmon (Racing Louisville) for Harries 46, 14 Grace Fisk (West Ham United) for George 65, 20 Asmita Ale (Tottenham Hotspur) for Le Tissier 65, 18 Molly Pike (Leicester City) for Bo Kearns 77
Substitutes not used: 12 Mayumi Pacheco (Aston Villa), 15 Megan Finnigan (Everton), 16 Lucy Parker (West Ham United)
Head coach: Mo Marley
Goals: Emma Harries 18, Missy Bo Kearns 27, 39, 50, Gabrielle George 38, Ruby Grant 59, 61, 83 Katie Robinson 62, Taylor Hinds 81, 90+1