England Women qualify for World Cup in first game since Euro 2022 triumph


    Austria v England: Group D - FIFA Women's WorldCup 2023 Qualifier
    England are heading to the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand (Photo: Getty)

    England have qualified for the 2023 Women’s World Cup with a game to spare after beating Austria in their first match since winning Euro 2022.

    Goals from Alessia Russo and Nikita Parris were enough to book the Lionesses on a plane to Australia and New Zealand for next summer.

    Even without legendary England players Ellen White and Jill Scott, who recently announced their retirement from the game, Sarina Wiegman’s side still remain unbeaten under her management, a run that could extend to 22 games if they beat Luxembourg on Tuesday.

    England have won all nine of their qualifying matches so far, scoring 70 goals and conceding none.

    ‘I’m very happy we have qualified, it looked so easy but it was pretty hard,’ Wiegman said post-match.

    ‘I think again it was a hard game but coming out of Euros and not having that much rest, I am very proud of the team.’

    The Lionesses will be one of the favourites to win the World Cup next year, alongside reigning champions the USA and Germany whom England defeated at the Euros final at Wembley in July.

    England Women Training Session & Press Conference
    Sarina Wiegman is yet to lose a game as England manager (Photo: Getty)

    ‘We knew that was going to be the case,’ Wiegman added.

    ‘But we are just trying to do the things that we have to do. But you never get bored with winning.’

    ‘To have [qualified] today is real special and what we’ve been aiming for,’ Manchester United’s Russo said.

    ‘This summer was really special but in football you don’t have too much time to reflect. We’ve got lots of games before [the World Cup] but our full focus now is on that tournament and the preparation towards it.

    ‘I love every minute I get to play for England and I love scoring and being in and around the goals so when I get my chance I’d like to take it.

    ‘It was great to get a goal tonight but maybe I could have had a couple more. Overall though it’s just great to get the win.’

    MORE : Jill Scott and Ellen White aren’t really gone – football is in their blood

    MORE : Graeme Souness defends calling football ‘a man’s game’ while sat next to female pundit Karen Carney

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