A second-half double from Alessia Russo saw England beat Northern Ireland 5-0 in the final group match of Euro 2022 at St Mary’s.
The Lionesses were without their manager Sarina Wiegman after the manager tested positive for Covid-19 earlier on Friday, but there seemed to be doing little to dampen a rampant England team.
There was early drama at sunny St Mary’s as England were awarded a penalty within five minutes. Georgia Stanway’s shot caught Laura Rafferty in the arm and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. After a long VAR check and the referee’s consultation with the monitor, the penalty was rightly ruled out.
For 40 minutes it looked like Northern Ireland were poised to frustrate their British rivals while England squandered chances. Looking like a lethal outlet for Kenny Sheils’ side, Lauren Wade fired into the side of the net in the first half but never really threatened Mary Earps’ goal.
Five minutes from the end of the first half, Fran Kirby finally broke through the Northern Ireland defense and pulled in a great shot from the top of the box after they failed to clear their lines.
Beth Mead quickly followed suit with her fifth goal at Euro 2022, making her the previous Golden Boot leader. She fired a low, hard shot at the near post, the ball deflecting a skidding Rachel Furness. It saw their goalkeeper Jackie Burns flat-footed as England nabbed their second.
Russo came on at half-time, along with Ella Toone and Alex Greenwood, and it took just three minutes for her to score her second goal of the tournament. She did well to rise between defenders to nod Mead’s cross home as the winger added an assist for her work in the evening.
Just five minutes later, Russo took their double and England’s fourth-place finish. It was perhaps the goal of the game, too, as she caught a sizzling cross from Manchester United team-mate Toone before once again getting the better of the defenders. She then hammered a shot past Burns and roared her approval with her cheer.
The Northern Irish’ difficult evening was crowned with an unfortunate own goal in the 76th minute. Kelsie Burrows’ attempt to stop Mead’s cross from finding Kelly didn’t go to plan as she turned the ball past her own goalkeeper.
It wasn’t the ending Shiels or Northern Ireland wanted for their Euro 2022 trip, but the team nonetheless received a rapturous welcome from their full-time fans. They finish Group A with a 100 per cent record for England and are now gearing up for Wednesday night’s quarter-finals.
England will be back in action on Wednesday when they face Spain or Denmark in the Amex quarter-finals. Kick-off 8 p.m.
Northern Ireland next plays in September when they face Luxembourg and Latvia in World Cup qualifiers.
Follow Euro 2022 on Sky Sports
Stay up to date on Euro 2022 this summer via Sky Sports and Sky Sports News.
The coverage will be moderated by Sky Sports WSL presenter Caroline Barker alongside Jessica Creighton and Kyle Walker. Meanwhile, Karen Carney, Sue Smith, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Laura Bassett will provide analysis throughout the tournament.
They are also joined by veteran England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and Manchester City defender Esme Morgan.
The experts and presenters will work from the Sky Sports Women’s Euro 2022 mobile presentation bus, which will follow the Sky Sports News team across the country to the various stadiums where matches will be played.
In addition, Sky Sports’ Essential Football Podcast will be rebranded to Sky Sports Women’s Euros Podcast for the tournament from 21 June. Hosted by Charlotte Marsh and Anton Toloui, it will feature exclusive news and player interviews, as well as a strong programming offering around the tournament.
Euro 2022: The Groups…
Group A: England, Austria, Norway, Northern Ireland
Group B: Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland
Group C: Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Switzerland
Group D: France, Italy, Belgium, Iceland
Euro 2022: the schedule…
Wednesday July 6th
Group A: England 1-0 Austria
Thursday July 7th
Group A: Norway 4-1 Northern Ireland
Friday, July 8th
Group B: Spain 4:1 Finland
Group B: Germany 4-0 Denmark
Saturday July 9th
Group C: Portugal 2-2 Switzerland
Group C: Netherlands 1-1 Sweden
Sunday 10 July
Group D: Belgium 1-1 Iceland
Group D: France 5-1 Italy
Monday 11 July
Group A: Austria 2-0 Northern Ireland
Group A: England 8-0 Norway
Tuesday 12th July
Group B: Denmark 1-0 Finland
Group B: Germany 2-0 Spain
Wednesday July 13th
Group C: Sweden 2-1 Switzerland
Group C: Netherlands 3-2 Portugal
Thursday 14 July
Group D: Italy 1-1 Iceland
Group D: France 2-1 Belgium
Friday 15 July
Group A: Northern Ireland v England – kick-off 8pm, St Mary’s
Group A: Austria v Norway – kick-off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Saturday July 16th
Group B: Finland v Germany – kick-off 8pm, Stadion MK
Group B: Denmark v Spain – kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Sunday 17 July
Group C: Switzerland v Netherlands – kick-off 5pm, Bramall Lane
Group C: Sweden v Portugal – kick-off 5pm, Leigh Sports Village
Monday 18 July
Group D: Iceland v France – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
Group D: Italy v Belgium – kick-off 8pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium
Wednesday July 20th
Quarter-Final 1: Group A winners – Group B runners-up – Kick-off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Thursday 21st July
Quarter-Finals 2: Group B winners – Group A runners-up – Kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Friday 22 July
Quarter-Finals 3: Group C winners – Group D runners-up – Kick-off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village
Quarter-Finals 4: Winners Group D – Runners-up Group C – Kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
Tuesday 26th July
Semi-Final 1: Quarter-Final 1 Winner vs. Quarter-Final 3 Winner – Kick-off 8pm, Bramall Lane
Wednesday July 27th
Semi-final 2: Winner of quarter-final 2 – Winner of quarter-final 4 – kick-off 8 p.m., Stadium MK
Sunday 31 July
Winner Semi-Final 1 – Winner Semi-Final 2 – Kick-off 5pm, Wembley
https://www.skysports.com/football/northern-ireland-women-vs-england-women/report/460000 N Ireland Women 0 – 5 England Women