Match Report: England Women 7-2 Austria
- A. Russo (3′) (61′)
- G. Clinton (19′)
- B. Mead (37′) (89′)
- J. Carter (70′)
- R. Daly (93′)
- V. Kirchberger (30′) (88′)
- V. Kirchberger (49′)
Lionesses impress out in Spain as Grace Clinton marks her debut with a goal
England v Austria
7.45pm GMT, Friday 23 February 2024
Live on ITV1
Estadio Nuevo Mirador, Algeciras, Spain
Sarina Wiegman says the matches with Austria and Italy will give England the chance to ‘try out some things’
England women’s senior team and under-23s are in Spain for a joint warm-weather training camp and will have two games each before flying home.
The Young Lionesses are currently taking on Spain and will face the Netherlands in a European league match on Tuesday, whilst for the senior side, they will play Austria on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm GMT) and then Italy on Tuesday (5pm GMT).
Leah Williamson had to withdraw from the England squad on Sunday prior to leaving the country, with Millie Turner taking her place, but there are currently no other players in the current squad ruled out, as it stands.
Wiegman said: “Everyone was on the pitch yesterday but of course we have to train and this is the time (Thursday morning) that everyone checks in with the medical staff and wellness. But so far it looks good.”
With Williamson and Millie Bright both missing, Wiegman was asked who would captain the side, but the head coach was giving little away, replying: ‘I will tell you tomorrow’.
After an inaugural major trophy in 2022, last year was another largely successful 12 months for the Lionesses as they reached a first Women’s World Cup final, won the maiden Women’s Finalissima and retained the Arnold Clark Cup.
The year did end in disappointment though as they missed out on Nations League progression, meaning their hopes of qualifying for this summer’s Olympic Games are over.
But Wiegman stressed the players and staff have moved on and are now working towards the UEFA Women’s EURO 2025 qualifying getting underway in April.
She said: "This is really the start of our EUROs campaign. After a good camp in December but the very disappointing result of not qualifying for the play-offs to qualify for the Olympics, we have moved on.
"This is the start, with two friendlies, which is really good for us because we can try out some things.
"We are also very close to the WU23s so we are around and can see them, we can connect with them and we can see where they are at during this moment, which is great because in April the Nations League starts which are the qualifiers for the EUROs."
One of the benefits of both the Lionesses and WU23s being on the same camp is the option to expose the younger players to the senior squad.
And that is what happened on Wednesday when Bristol City and WU23 defender Naomi Layzell stepped up to train with the senior squad.
Wiegman said: "We are so close to each other in this camp. We are in the same hotel as the Under-23s so we can connect and this is an opportunity that when a player does really well with the U23s, and also with their club, we can ask them to come train with us.
"Naomi did well. Of course, it is a big step but she did well, coped well and I think she enjoyed it too. Now she is with the Under-23s for the game against Spain.
“That was good, and we might get some more opportunities this week to do more things like this."
Wiegman was joined in the press conference by Bayern Munich and England midfielder Georgia Stanway, who added: “Naomi was great. The most daunting thing can be coming into the senior environment. Straight away she got on with everyone.
“At first she sat at the front of the bus and we said ‘you can move back a little bit, we are not going to bite!’
“We tried to welcome her as much as possible. We are a very open group and a very happy group. We are happy to have anyone come into our environment, and we want to make them feel as comfortable as possible.
“It is really nice to see the Under-23s around the hotel. Obviously, some of them I played with at Man City and some of them I am just getting to know at the moment.
“It is really nice to see who is coming through because when I am in Germany, you miss the pathway because you are not as aware as much of the youngsters who are coming through or are in the WSL so I am excited to see how they get on in their game today.”
Austria in profile
Nickname: Die Rot-Weiss-Roten
Coach: Irene Fuhrmann
Captain: Sarah Puntigam
Highlights: Austria 0-2 England
See the best of the action from England's last game with the Austria during World Cup qualifying
● England have won all nine of their encounters with Austria by an aggregate scoreline of 25-1. Only against Northern Ireland (12 wins out of 12) do the Lionesses have a better 100 per cent win ratio against an opponent.
● England have kept eight consecutive clean sheets against Austria, since a 4-1 win back in September 2005. Only against Scotland (a run of nine between April 1989 – May 2001) have the Lionesses gone longer without conceding against a single opponent.
● This game will be hosted at the Estadio Nuevo Mirador in Spain. The Lionesses have won just one of their ten matches played in Spain (D6 L3), with that sole victory coming against Japan in a Friendly in November 2022.
● England have won all three of their games against Austria under Sarina Wiegman, with this their first meeting since a World Cup qualifier in September 2022 (2-0). No opposing nation have they beaten more often under the Dutchwomen.
● The Lionesses have won their first game of the year in just four of the last ten calendar years (D2 L4), although they did beat Korea Republic 4-0 in their first game of 2023.
● Austria have won nine of their last 12 Friendlies (L3), although they did lose their last such game against Iceland in July last year. Six of those nine wins have also come with a clean sheet.
● England have won just one of their last five friendlies (D3 L1), failing to score in three of those matches, including each of the last two. Indeed, their only such win during this period came against Japan in November 2022 (4-0).
● Lauren James has been involved in five of England’s nine goals across their last two games (two assists vs Netherlands and two goals, one assist against Scotland). However, she’s failed to score or assist in any of her six appearances in friendlies for the Lionesses.
● Beth Mead has been directly involved in 41 goals in just 26 appearances for England under Wiegman (22 goals, 19 assists), more than any other player. She also netted the Lionesses' winner against Austria in their 1-0 victory at EURO 2022.
● Since her international debut in February 2023, Eileen Campbell is the only player to have scored more than one goal for Austria, netting four of her six attempts on target, and exceeding her Expected Goals figure by 1.9 (four goals from an xG of 2.1).
From the archive: Austria 0-3 England
A look back to our trip to Austria in 2018 when a certain Georgia Stanway sealed her senior debut with a goal
England Squad News
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How to watch or stream
This game will be shown live on ITV1 in the UK.
Alessia Russo and Beth Mead both scored twice and there was a debut goal for Grace Clinton as England Women eased to a 7-2 victory over Austria.
The Lionesses led throughout and were dominant on a rainy evening in Algeciras.
First-half goals from Russo, Clinton and Mead saw Sarina Wiegman’s side in control at half time despite Virginia Kirchberger's header for Austria.
Russo grabbed her second just after the hour and Jess Carter put England 5-1 ahead before Mead and Rachel Daly completed the scoring after Kirchberger nodded in a second for Austria late on.
Wiegman had spoken before the game about the matches against Austria and Italy being a chance to ‘try things out’ and she made several changes to her starting line-up, with the likes of Hannah Hampton, Maya Le Tissier, Esme Morgan and Clinton all coming into the side.
It took just three minutes for the Lionesses to get on the scoresheet, Russo clinically pouncing on a loose ball in the box after Mead’s shot was spilled into her path.
Debutant Clinton then came close to making it two just 15 minutes into her maiden senior appearance, but her shot from the edge of the box cannoned off the crossbar.
Clinton was not to be denied and four minutes later grabbed her maiden senior team goal, nodding home Lauren Hemp’s cross from close range.
England continued to exert almost complete dominance, but Austria hit back to halve the deficit through Kirchberger, who headed home from a corner after finding herself unmarked in the box.
The Lionesses looked to restore their two-goal advantage and almost did so immediately, but Ella Toone’s effort was easily saved by Manuela Zinsberger after the midfielder was found in space by Russo.
It was 3-1 shortly after, Mead providing the clinical touch with a superb curled finish after England won the ball high up the pitch and eventually worked the ball to Mead who made no mistake from inside the box.
The Lionesses resumed their dominance after the break and had their first sight of goal five minutes after the restart as Stanway surged clear down the left but Toone’s shot was just wide.
Stanway was involved again as England grabbed their fourth just after the hour mark, the midfielder forcing a loose Austrian pass into the path of Russo, who slotted past Zinsberger.
It was five soon after, Jess Carter delightfully flicking home after Lotte Wubben-Moy rose highest from a corner.
Austria pushed for what would be a second consolation and found it two minutes from time as Kirchberger scored her second of the evening, heading home from a cross.
But England responded immediately, Lauren James breaking free in behind the Austrian defence before striking the post with her shot and Mead followed up for her second goal.
Rachel Daly then rounded off the evening with England's seventh, smashing home from close range after finding herself one-on-one with Zinsberger.
England: 1 Hannah Hampton (Chelsea), 2 Maya Le Tissier (Manchester United), 3 Niamh Charles (Chelsea), 4 Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich), 5 Esme Morgan (Manchester City), 6 Alex Greenwood (c) (Manchester City), 7 Beth Mead (Arsenal), 8 Grace Clinton (Tottenham Hotspur on loan from Manchester United), 9 Alessia Russo (Arsenal), 11 Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), 14 Ella Toone (Manchester United)
Substitutes: 15 Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal) for Greenwood 46’, 16 Lauren James (Chelsea) for Hemp 46’, 12 Jess Carter (Chelsea) for Charles 62’, 20 Jess Park (Manchester City) for Clinton 62’, 19 Rachel Daly (Aston Villa) for Russo 62’, 18 Kiera Walsh (Barcelona) for Stanway 78’
Subs not used: 13 Khiara Keating (Manchester City), 17 Lucy Bronze (Barcelona), 21 Mary Earls (Manchester United), 22 Millie Turner (Manchester United), 23 Aggie Beever-Jones (Chelsea)
Goals: Russo 3’, 61’, Clinton 19’, Mead 37’, 89' Carter 70’, Daly 90'
Austria: 1 Manuela Zinsberger, 6 Katharina Schiechtl, 8 Barbara Dunst, 9 Sarah Zadrazil, 11 Marina Georgieva, 12 Eileen Campbell, 13 Virginia Kirchberger, 14 Marie Lobinger, 17 Sarah Puntigam, 18 Lill Purtscheller, 20 Katharina Naschenweng
Substitutes: 19 Verena Hanshaw for Schiechtl 63', 10 Laura Feiersinger for Puntigam 63', 15 Nicole Billa for Campbell 77', 16 Annabel Schasching for Hobinger 77', 22 Lisa Kolb for Dunst 88'
Subs not used: 2 Chiara D'Angelo, 3 Jennifer Klein, 7 Viktoria Pinther, 21 Isabella Kresche , 23 Jasmin Pal
Goals: Kirchberger 31’, 88'