It rained goals in Utrecht on Wednesday night as two-time Runners-up England made a perfect start to their 2017 Women’s EURO campaign with a mind-blowing 6-0 whitewash of neighbours Scotland.
For a team that had not won a EURO finals game by more than one goal, Jodie Taylor – who was making her first ever appearance in the competition, qualifying inclusive – scored two in the opening 27 minutes to pave way for what is now the biggest ever finals win.
Ellen White put the Lionesses 3-0 up heading into half time before Taylor cut a slice of history for herself by completing her hat-trick eight minutes into the second period.
The Arsenal Ladies striker became only the third player to score a treble at a UEFA Women’s EURO thereby earning the match ball. And this is coming 20 years and 17 days after Angélique Roujas’s hat-trick for France in the 1997 edition.
It was Taylor who hogged the headlines and was deservedly awarded Player of the Match. However, late goals from Jordan Nobbs and Toni Duggan – who came on for Taylor in the 59th minute – completed the rout against a clueless Scotland.
Now, apart from trying to understand what went wrong, Scotland also have to sweat over the fitness of one of their key players, Jane Ross, ahead of their match against Portugal on Sunday.
In the other group D match played at the Stadion De Vijverberg in Doetinchem, Spain proved tough to crack as they beat Portugal 2-0.
Vicky Losada got the opener in the 23rd minute before Player of the Match Amanda Sampedro scored the second goal three minutes to half time.
Portugal produced a more spirited performance in the second half as they tried to close the Spaniards down but the match had already been lost in the first half.