Six of the best for England

Karen Carney's first-half hat-trick helped the England women's team claim a 6-0 win over Belarus in their opening World Cup qualifier.

Last Updated: 21/09/13 at 15:36 Post Comment

Karen Carney scores her first goal of the afternoon.

Karen Carney scores her first goal of the afternoon.

Karen Carney's first-half hat-trick helped Brent Hills present a strong case to take over as permanent head coach of the England women's team with a 6-0 demolition of Belarus in their opening World Cup qualifier in Bournemouth.

Carney added to Ellen White's strike to make it 4-0 at half-time, and further goals followed from Natasha Dowie and Eniola Aluko in a one-sided match which will have delighted Hills, in interim control following the departure of Hope Powell.

England wasted little time in taking control as Carney broke into the area to slot home the opener just three minutes in.

White doubled the advantage 10 minutes later to cap a neat move, controlling Jordan Nobbs' lay-off before finding the bottom corner of the goal.

Carney's second was the pick of the goals, however, as the Birmingham City player found herself in space 25 yards from goal before picking out the top left-hand corner to leave the goalkeeper helpless.

The 26-year-old then completed her hat-trick five minutes before the break when the ball broke to her inside the area following more good work from Nobbs and she fired into the opposite corner.

Aluko had a string of chances to get the fifth early in the second half, twice going close with headers before seeing a fine curling effort from the left wing touched away for a corner.

Instead it was Dowie who got the next goal, moments after coming on as a substitute.

Stretching to reach a cross, she saw her first header strike the bar but adjusted in time to nod the rebound back into the goal for her first strike at international level.

England thought they had a sixth seconds later only for White to be somewhat harshly called offside when turning in a long low cross from a tight angle.

But they barely had to wait for the actual sixth to arrive, with Aluko finally getting the goal that had seemed destined to elude her.

Dowie turned provider this time, playing a neat square ball to leave her with a simple finish.

Fara Williams then flashed a free-kick narrowly wide while Dowie and White were denied late on, but England had already done more than enough.

Dowie, the current joint-top scorer in the WSL with 10 goals for Liverpool, was delighted to see that form translate on the international stage.

"I'm just really excited," she said on BBC1. "I've really enjoyed the season with Liverpool and I was grateful to get an opportunity today and to get on the scoresheet.

"It was a great performance from the girls. It was quite a frustrating game because they defended a lot but we broke them down really well. I enjoyed it.

"I'm just confident at the moment and scoring goals. I just want to play good football and to get on the scoresheet is a bonus."

Carney said the result was a huge boost not just for Hills but for the whole team.

"All he can do is come in and put points on the board. He's here for two games and he wants to try to get six points. That's his aim and our aim, but now we have another tough game against Turkey on Thursday."


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