Arsenal's Leah Williamson captains England to win over North Macedonia

England's Leah Williamson is fouled by North Macedonia's Julija Zivikj which results in a penalty ki

England's Leah Williamson is fouled by North Macedonia's Julija Zivikj which results in a penalty kick during the UEFA Qualifier match at St Mary's, Southampton. Picture date: Friday September 17, 2021. See PA story SOCCER England Women. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder. - Credit: PA

Leah Williamson captained England to an 8-0 win over North Macedonia on Friday night at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton while Beth Mead also got on the scoresheet.

Williamson was announced as captain on Friday as Steph Houghton pulled out of the squad with an injury.

Williamson said: “This is the biggest honour in football, I’ve said a million times how proud I am to be English so it was very special.

"I’m really happy that the fans were here and that my family were able to be here as well because it was probably just as important for them as it is for me.

“Leading the team out will probably be the biggest honour of my life, I think I just laughed when Sarina Wiegman told me that I would be captain.


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"I thought I was in trouble, so it was nice news to receive and it’s not necessary something I would seek or has been on the agenda.

"I don’t think it is on anybody’s mind  but to be recognised as somebody to take the responsibility and lead the team out is nice and nice Sarina thought that off me.”

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Williamson also claimed an assist as she set up the opening goal as she played in Ella Toone to slot into the net inside 13 minutes for the first goal of Wiegman‘a tenure.

Ellen White scored a brace as did Beth England and there were also two own goals from North Macedonia before Mead wrapped up the win with a Aileen finish late on cutting inside before finding the top corner.

Mead also supplied an assist to keep her early season form going as she impressed the new England head coach as Lotte Wubben-Moy and Nikita Parris came on in the 60th minute.

Jennifer Beattie played the full 90 minutes as Scotland started their World Cup qualification campaign with a 2-0 away win against Hungary.

Erin Cuthbert started the scoring for the dominant Scots, turning in a rebound after her penalty was saved in the 17th minute.

Martha Thomas settled the nerves with a glancing header with 17 minutes to play and seal an opening win for new Scottish boss Pedro Martinez Losa.

Beattie is back to full fitness and has one goal to her name in the WSL this season in the 4-0 away win to Reading last weekend.

Lia Walti started and played 90 minutes as Switzerland kickstarted their World Cup qualifying campaign with a comfortable home win over Lithuania.

Alisha Lehmann, Coumba Sow, Ramona Bachmann and Svenja Fölmli netted the goals for the Swiss.

Goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger started as Austria recovered from going behind early on to win in Latvia.

Austria scored six times in the final half hour to ensure a comfortable victory.

Arsenal’s summer signing Tobin Heath came on as late substitute for the USA as they beat Paraguay 9-0, Heath came on in the 74th minute and struck soon after being supplied by Tierna Davidson.

Frida Maanum played the full game of Norway’s comprehensive win over Armenia on Thursday.

The young midfielder grabbed an assist for Elisabeth Terland to score her team’s ninth goal in what was a blistering second-half display.

The Netherlands drew 1-1 with the Czech Republic but Vivianne Miedema did come to the rescue with a late equaliser for the Dutch.

Andrea Stašková put the Czech Republic ahead before Miedema struck in the 82nd minute.

Miedema said after the game: “We weren't good enough,we can make a lot of excuses and say we have a new coach.

"But in the end, it hasn't changed much of anything. Tuesday (away, against Iceland), we have to be better."

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