Ella Toone

Toone: It’s a dream come true

Saturday 18 September 2021 09:46

Manchester United’s Ella Toone scored her second goal for England on her first senior international start as the Lionesses overcame North Macedonia 8-0 on Friday.

Our no.7 opened the scoring 12 minutes in for the home side at St Mary’s Stadium, as her country went on to record a comfortable victory in new head coach Sarina Wiegman’s first game in charge. 

Toone’s United team-mate Mary Earps played 90 minutes in goal, keeping a clean sheet, while fellow English Reds Katie Zelem and Lucy Staniforth were unused substitutes. 

The victory means that the Lionesses also made a winning start to their 2023 World Cup qualifying campaign and top Group D ahead of their trip to face Luxembourg on Tuesday. 

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Speaking to England’s media channels after the win, Ella expressed her delight at helping the side to get three points on her first start.

“It was good, it was hard, they were man marking - I think if I would have gone to the toilet she [the defender] would have come with me!

“But no it was good, first start for England and hopefully many more [to come].”
Having scored her first goal for the Lionesses against Northern Ireland in February, the forward doubled up on her tally on Friday, calmly slotting past the visiting goalkeeper on the south coast. 

Toone talked through how it felt to be on the scoresheet again for her country, post-match.

“[It’s] amazing. 

“I got a bit nervous because it was a bit slo mo, I was running, one v one with the ‘keeper and I thought I best get this on target. 

“And then when it went in, [I was] so happy, second goal for England, it’s just a dream come true really.”

It continues what has been a year to remember so far for the 22-year-old, who recently also had the opportunity to represent Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics. 

With over 8,000 supporters in attendance, the only Lionesses game with a home crowd in the stadium since November 2019 due to the pandemic, Toone relished the experience of playing in front of the England fans for the first time. 

“[It was] amazing, great to make my first start for England with incredible fans and obviously my family in the crowd as well which makes it even more special.”

Toone was not the only Red on the scoresheet on the international stage on Friday either, as Martha Thomas followed up her first United goal last weekend by finding the net for Scotland in their 2-0 victory over Hungary. 

Thomas came off the bench to ensure her country would make a winning start to their World Cup qualifying campaign in a game that club team-mate Kirsty Hanson started.

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Elsewhere in World Cup qualifying, United defender Maria Thorisdottir earned her 50th cap for Norway, as both she and Vilde Boe Risa were involved in the Grasshoppers’ 10-0 victory over Armenia. 

Speaking of ten-goal wins, Reds full-back Ona Batlle registered two assists in Spain’s against the Faroe Islands earlier this week, while Hayley Ladd and Carrie Jones featured in Wales’ 6-0 triumph over Kazakhstan on Friday, as did Jackie Groenen in the Netherlands’ draw with Czech Republic later that evening.

The next outings for our international Reds this month come on Tuesday (21 September), when as many as 14 could feature across six different matches.