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Published 07 January 2022 5 min read
England Women's Senior Team

England qualify for the FIFA Women's World Cup with victory over Austria

Written by:

Alec McQuarrie

FIFA Women's World Cup Qualifying
Saturday 03 September, 04:30 PM Wiener Neustadt Ergo Arena
0 2
HT: 0 - 1
  • A. Russo (7′)
  • N. Parris (69′)
Goals from Alessia Russo and Nikita Parris help the Lionesses book their place in Australia and New Zealand next summer
04 Sep 2022 6:08

Highlights: Austria 0-2 England

Watch the best of the action from the game in Wiener Neustadt

England sealed qualification for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup with a 2-0 away win over Austria. 

Alessia Russo had given the Lionesses an early lead with a well-timed volley before substitute Nikita Parris made the visitors’ relentless pressure count midway through the second half with a fine finish.

It means England Women ensured qualification for next summer’s tournament in Australia and New Zealand with a game to spare, with Tuesday’s game against Luxembourg still to come. 

It took just seven minutes for the European champions to take the lead, an Alex Greenwood cross dropping in the box to Russo, who was starting instead of the recently retired Ellen White

The Manchester United striker instinctively hit the ball on the volley as she was falling and found the bottom corner to register her ninth goal in just 14 England appearances. 
Alex Greenwood, Alessia Russo and Ella Toone were brought into the starting line-up against Austria
Alex Greenwood, Alessia Russo and Ella Toone were brought into the starting line-up against Austria
The 23-year-old almost took her tally into double figures a couple of minutes later but her diving header lacked the power to trouble Arsenal’s Manuela Zinsberger. 

England have still not conceded in their nine World Cup qualifying matches so far, but their spotless record was almost sullied when Julia Hickelsberger-Fuller latched onto an errant pass and shot just over.

The remainder of the first half saw limited goalmouth action for either side, as England calmly controlled possession and held Irene Fuhrmann’s team at arm’s length. 

But immediately following the break, Mary Earps survived a scare when her confident cut-back ricocheted off Hickelsberger-Füller and squirmed just wide. 

A flurry of chances followed in quick succession for England, the rampaging Lucy Bronze striking straight at Zinsberger with her weaker foot. 

Ella Toone then saw her shot from the edge of the box fly just wide, before Georgia Stanway fired low to force another save from the Austrian keeper. 


Match line-ups

And on the hour mark, Beth Mead jinked down the byline and produced a clever chip that Russo couldn’t quite get on the end of. 

Wiegman’s side were running riot in the final third but needed Earps to pull off an outstanding finger-tip save to deny Laura Feiersinger and keep England in front. 

But substitute Parris would allay any nerves when she slammed the ball into the roof of the net from an incisive Stanway through-ball. 

Manchester United’s new forward again showed her quality with 13 minutes remaining, controlling superbly before her shot was deflected just wide. 

England saw out the game professionally, dominating until the final whistle and ensuring sure their incredible clean sheet run remained intact. 
Alessia Russo scored England's first goal with a classy finish
Alessia Russo scored England's first goal with a classy finish
Austria: 1 Zinsberger, 7 Wenninger, 8 Dunst, 9 Zadrazil, 10 Feiersinger, 11 Georgieva, 12 Wienroither, 15 Billa, 17 Puntigam, 18 Hickelsberger-Füller, 19 Hanshaw 

Substitutes: 20 Naschenweng for 18 Hickelsberger-Füller 69’, 2 Wienerroither for 15 Billa 79’, 22 Kolb for 8 Dunst 88’, 14 Höbinger for 10 Feiersinger 88’ 

Substitutes not used: 3 Klein, 4 Degen, 5 Schasching, 6 Schiechtl, 13 Kirchberger, 16 Eder, 21 Kresche, 23 El Sherif 

Head coach: Irene Fuhrmann 

1 Earps; 2 Bronze, 5 Bright, 6 Williamson, 3 Greenwood; 4 Walsh, 8 Stanway; 7 Mead, 10 Toone, 11 Hemp, 9 Russo

Substitutes: 17 Parris for 7 Mead 62’, 19 England for 9 Russo 62’, 16 Carter for 6 Williamson 79’, 22 James for 10 Toone 79’, 12 Daly for 2 Bronze 85’ 

Substitutes not used: 13 Roebuck, 14 Zelem, 15 Wubben-Moy, 18 Nobbs, 20 Stokes, 21 MacIver, 23 Salmon 

Head coach: Sarina Wiegman 

Goals: Russo 7’, Parris 69’ 

Referee: Iuliana Elena Demetrescu