·3 September 2022
·3 September 2022
Alessia Russo netted the opening goal early on before substitute Nikita Parris added a second 20 minutes from time as Sarina Wiegman’s side booked their place on the plane to Australia and New Zealand with a game to spare.
England started the match brightly and they took the lead with their first meaningful attack. Lauren Hemp headed the ball down and it deflected off Georgia Stanway into the path of Russo who acrobatically found the bottom corner of the Austrian net.
Russo had a great chance to make it 2-0 moments later but she could only direct her header straight at Austrian keeper Manuela Zinsberger.
The hosts had a couple of chances of their own in the first half but both Julia Hickelsberger-Füller and Sarah Zadrazil could not direct their efforts on target as England took a narrow lead into the break.
The start of the second half produced more goalmouth action. First, a mix up between the England centre-backs let in Hickelsberger-Füller but the ball fortunately trickled wide of goal. At the other end, Lucy Bronze directed a tame effort at Zinsberger before Ella Toone curled a shot narrowly wide. Stanway then looked certain to score but Zinsberger produced an excellent block with her boot at full-stretch.
England continued to push forward and Russo was next to go close but she couldn’t quite force a looping Beth Mead delivery home with her head before Laura Feiersinger’s stinging drive was pushed around the post by Mary Earps at the other end.
The Lionesses finally grabbed the decisive second goal 20 minutes from time through impressive substitute Parris. Stanway played a neat ball through to the Manchester United forward and she thumped her effort across goal and into the far corner.
Both sides continued to carve out chances in what was a thoroughly entertaining second half. Feiersinger was inches away from pulling a goal back for Austria but she drilled her shot wide across goal while Parris almost completed an England brace, delightfully taking the ball down before sending her effort off target.
In the end, the scoreline remained at 2-0 as England successfully completed their FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 qualification mission with a game to spare.
The Lionesses will end their FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 qualifying campaign against Luxembourg in Stoke on Tuesday evening.