Russo fires hat-trick in record England win
Manchester United forward Alessia Russo registered the fastest-ever hat-trick scored by a Lionesses’ player in England’s record-breaking win over Latvia on Tuesday.
Our no.23 was introduced from the bench on the hour mark and having netted her first international goal after 71 minutes, Alessia went on to score twice more to complete an 11-minute hat-trick in the 20-0 triumph at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Russo was one of four players to record a treble in the team’s largest-ever victory margin, joining Arsenal’s Beth Mead plus Manchester City duo Lauren Hemp and Ellen White, with the latter also becoming the country’s all-time leading goalscorer on the night.
It was already a special evening for Russo prior to the hat-trick in the World Cup qualifier, with her 60th-minute introduction marking her first international appearance in over 20 months, having recently been recalled to the setup as a reward for her impressive form at club level upon recovering from a hamstring injury that saw her forced to spend a lengthy period of time on the sidelines.
🗞 @Lionesses score 14 in a match for the first time 🗞@alessiarusso7 becomes the latest to get off the mark for her country 👏#ITVFootball | #Lionesses pic.twitter.com/9TvnqhzQBB— ITV Football (@itvfootball) November 30, 2021
“It’s so exciting to be back in an England shirt after a long time out. It’s amazing,” Alessia said standing alongside Hemp and Mead.
“We’ve had a good week of preparation, and these are the nights you dream of. It was great to be out there with the girls.
“We’ve worked really hard these past few months and it was all topped off tonight. We look forward to the next camp and going again.”
It was a special night all round for our quartet of Reds in the Lionesses squad. Captain Katie Zelem also came on from the bench, making her senior debut for her country, while goalkeeper Mary Earps kept her sixth successive England clean sheet and Ella Toone scored her sixth international goal.
It means that all four played their part on a historic evening, as Sarina Wiegman’s side tightened their grip on Group D’s summit, occupying top spot with six wins from six so far.
It rounds off a successful camp for the side who also beat Austria 1-0 at the weekend, in a game in which United’s Earps and Toone featured.
Dreams really do come true 💫— Katie Zelem (@katiezel) December 1, 2021
Over the moon to make my England debut! Big thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way🙌🏼❤️ pic.twitter.com/CgBBNsR5Ca
Both featured in last week’s 7-0 victory at Albania, in which Thorisdottir scored her country’s third goal, while Boe Risa also started Tuesday’s 10-goal triumph in Armenia, which keeps the Norwegian team unbeaten and top of their qualifying group.
Ona Batlle and Spain have had similar successes over the last week or so and currently occupy first place in Group B. Our full-back started in high-scoring wins against the Faroe Islands and Scotland, both on home soil.
As for our Welsh stars, Hayley Ladd and Carrie Jones both featured in the Dragons’ 5-0 victory over Greece and 2-0 loss to France, while young Red Chloe Williams was an unused substitute in the matches. It leaves our trio’s nation second in Group I behind their latter opponents, France.
Last but certainly not least, over in South America, United forward Ivana Fuso has been representing Brazil in the ongoing International Women’s Football Tournament (Torneio Internacional de Futebol Feminino). Having been an unused substitute in the 6-1 triumph over India, Ivana picked up her third cap for her country as the Selecao beat Venezuela 4-1.
Brazil will now go head-to-head with Chile in the early hours of Thursday morning (midnight GMT) in a winner-takes-all final round-robin fixture. A draw would also be enough to crown Fuso and co as winners of this year’s tournament on goal difference. Good luck, Ivana!