Wembley hat-trick one of Mead's proudest moments
Beth Mead described her remarkable hat-trick against Northern Ireland at Wembley Stadium connected by EE as one of the proudest moments of her life.
England dominated Northern Ireland for almost all of Saturday evening’s contest but after the opening hour, the game was still goalless.
However, the introduction of Beth Mead proved to be a catalyst for victory as the Arsenal forward scored with her first touch and went on to score a 14-minute hat-trick in England women’s first competitive game at Wembley Stadium.
With fellow replacement Bethany England also scoring, the Lionesses beat Northern Ireland 4-0 and Mead became the first women in history to score a hat-trick at Wembley Stadium for club or country in any competition.
Mead said: “I can’t put [my emotions] into words. Even to score a goal at Wembley generally is just an amazing feeling. It's an honour to put the shirt on and score for this country but to come away with a hat-trick is a special feeling and I’m glad to help the girls to get the three points today.”
The forward continued: “She (Wiegman) just told us to go out there and enjoy it and make a difference and hopefully, I did that today.
“Obviously, Sarina has confidence in every single one of us and we came on this pitch to do a job today and that's what we did.”
“I think it has got to be up there [with the best moments of my career]. To score a hat-trick for your country at Wembley is probably one of the proudest moments for me and my family.”
— Lionesses (@Lionesses) October 23, 2021
England had 17 shots to Northern Ireland’s zero in the first half and enjoyed 80 per cent possession.
But Northern Ireland defended resolutely and Wiegman attempted to change the Lionesses’ system at the start of the second period as they looked to continue her 100 per cent start to life as head coach.
And the introduction of the two Beths – Mead and England – plus the dynamic wing play of Lauren Hemp provided the spark needed to ensure England remained top of their FIFA 2023 World Cup qualifying group after three matches.
Wiegman said: “I'm very happy of course with the score and how we were on the pitch. These are hard games because they were defending the whole game and it was very tight and in the first half we created chances all the time and didn’t score and then you just have to just stay patient because you can rush a little and not be tight on the ball.
“When we started the second half we were a little less tight on the ball and we made mistakes but then we picked it up again and the players that come on made a difference.
“It was really nice with the hat-trick of Beth and just a very nice evening.”
She continued: “I think last month we subbed the team that on the pitch is good but the players that come on, they bring new energy.
“We do things a little different in our organisation, we got more players higher on the pitch and we know we are a team and when we need to change something to bring a new energy, then it is really nice.
“I think it was Beth’s first touch and it wasn’t even an easy one. It is so nice she could score a goal and I’m very impressed by our team.”
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