2023 FIFA Women's World Cup Qualifying - UEFA, Group Stage
  • Lauren Hemp (26', 60')
  • Ella Toone (52')
  • Georgia Stanway (70', 79')

Lionesses World Cup qualification on hold despite 5-0 win

England's Lauren Hemp and Georgia Stanway netted twice each, and there was a goal for Ella Toone, as the visitors thumped Northern Ireland 5-0 to move closer to automatic qualification for the World Cup.

They have a full haul of 24 points from eight games and will win Group D with at least a draw away to second-placed Austria in their penultimate game in the section in September.

"It's all about building from here," Stanway said postmatch. "It's brilliant playing in this team, everyone is at a high level and if we can create a competitive environment then nothing can stop us."

Northern Ireland boss Kenny Shiels added: "There is a massive gap between them and us. It would have been remarkable if we could only have got a goal for the crowd.

"The girls are still working as hard as they can to get there and narrow the gap between them and us. It was partially fitness but I don't think it was all fitness. It looks like fitness but it is also understanding of positional play and movement.

"We have to respect that they are a really top team - they are the World Cup favourites and if that is the case we were playing against the best team in the world. Tonight we just couldn't sustain but that is football for you."

The fixture at Windsor Park was played in front of a record crowd of 15,348, a record for a women's match in the country.

England will qualify for the World Cup if they avoid defeat away to second-placed Austria in their next qualifier on Sept. 2. Even if they were to lose that match, they would still be through with a victory at home to Luxembourg in their final group match three days later.