Toone 'over the moon' to score first England hat-trick
Manchester United Women’s Ella Toone has expressed her pride upon scoring her first senior England hat-trick during Tuesday evening's World Cup qualifier against Latvia.
Our no.7, who was one of three Reds to feature in the Lionesses' inaugural competitive match at Wembley over the weekend, continued her recent form for club and country with a treble during the 10-0 victory for Sarina Wiegman’s side.
Toone was subsequently awarded the Player of the Match accolade, having netted two of the three inside the opening 11 minutes of the encounter to race England into a two-goal lead at the Daugava Stadia, before completing her hat-trick in the 68th minute of the contest.
The 22-year-old has now found the net five times in her opening six appearances for the senior side and became the first-ever player to score three times in a match on the international stage while playing for United Women.
Ella also becomes the sixth name on an exclusive list of Reds to net a hat-trick for England, alongside Jack Rowley, Tommy Taylor, Sir Bobby Charlton, Bryan Robson and Paul Scholes.
“[It feels] amazing,” she said.
“Rach [Daly] called it before the game so this is for Rach. But yeah, I’m absolutely over the moon to a score a first hat-trick for England.
“I was just buzzing to get a goal really and then the second one came and then everyone was like ‘oh, you’re going to get a hat-trick’ but you don’t think about it when you’re playing,” Toone added.
“You just want to play your game and help contribute to the performance.”
That was before her evening’s work was rounded off with that hat-trick strike, which turned out to be her final touch of the game, before she was replaced on 68 minutes.
The Lionesses went on to finish the job and make it four wins from four in their World Cup qualifying campaign, and they currently top Group D following their second double-digit victory in the space of three matches.
Standing on the pitch with the match ball after the final whistle, Toone joked that she timed her third and final strike of the night to perfection.
“Last kick of my game it went in the net so I’m buzzing,” she laughed.
“I didn’t have a clue and then came off as soon as I’d scored the hat-trick so I’m happy with that!”
It was another strong team performance from the Lionesses, but perhaps another reason for Toone’s success on the evening was the home-like weather in Latvia.
Evidently, it was pouring with rain for much of the encounter and Ella said it made her feel like she was back in more familiar surroundings.
“It was absolutely freezing – it’s like Manchester!”
Toone’s United team-mate Mary Earps will be able to back up that sentiment, having played 90 minutes in goal for the Lionesses and registered a fourth clean sheet from four in England’s World Cup qualifiers. Fellow Reds Alessia Russo and Lucy Staniforth were unused substitutes for Wiegman's side while Katie Zelem was not in the matchday squad.
There were also 4-0 wins to celebrate for Maria Thorisdottir and Vilde Boe Risa with Norway, plus Carrie Jones and Hayley Ladd’s Wales. The quartet all started and helped their nations to overcome Belgium and Estonia respectively.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a victorious end to the international break for Kirsty Hanson and Scotland however, with the Tartan Army unable to follow up Friday’s win over Hungary against Sweden. They were narrowly beaten by the Olympic silver medallists in a friendly meeting at the SMISA Stadium.