Toone nets second England hat-trick in big win
Manchester United forward Ella Toone scored an England hat-trick at senior level for the second time as the Lionesses comfortably overcame North Macedonia in World Cup qualifying on Friday.
Sarina Wiegman's side recorded an emphatic 10-0 victory in Skopje, their fourth double-figure hall of qualification for next year's tournament so far.
Toone’s first, a deadly strike from outside the area, capped off a driving run to make the score 3-0, before she added the team’s ninth and 10th goals in the space of four second-half minutes with two finishes from inside the box.
Outside of her own goal-scoring exploits, Toone was a force in much of England’s attacking play and also assisted Manchester City's Ellen White for her 50th international goal.
Speaking while covering the game for Sky Sports, Tottenham Hotspur Women's assistant coach Vicky Jepson picked out Toone for praise, saying: “We saw her start to score goals more often last season and now this season, she’s continued it and gone on to another level.
“I think tonight, she's one of the most outstanding players on the pitch. Just from her intelligent runs, the timing of movement to arrive on the outside of the box to finish first time, but also to arrive inside the box to finish first time.”
“She’s just an all-round goal scorer, but they’re intelligent movements to find those little pockets of space. It is incredible and she’s only young so who knows where she’s going to go on her football journey.”
Toone's fellow Reds Alessia Russo and Katie Zelem were introduced as second-half substitutes against North Macedonia, while goalkeeper Mary Earps remained on the bench. England are next in action, again on the road, against Northern Ireland on Tuesday.
There were also plenty of goals for Jackie Groenen’s Netherlands side as they dispatched Cyprus 12-0. The midfielder chipped in with a hat-trick of assists and will hope for more when the Oranje take on South Africa in a friendly during their second game of the international break on Tuesday.
Success also came the way of Vilde Boe Risa and Maria Thorisdottir as they lined up for Norway at home to Kosovo. Boe Risa assisted Ada Hegerberg for the fourth in their 5-1 victory and they now continue their qualifying campaign against Poland next.
Unfortunately for Carrie Jones and Hayley Ladd, Wales suffered a 2-1 defeat in their qualifier against France, with Reds Under-21s midfielder Chloe Williams an unused substitute. They will get the chance to reverse their fortunes in their next qualifier against Kazakhstan on Tuesday.
Ona Batlle was in friendly action with Spain, taking on Brazil at home in Alicante. That match ended 1-1, with attention now turning to World Cup qualifying as they take on Martha Thomas and Scotland at Hampden Park, in the coming week.