England women thrash North Macedonia 8-0 in opening World Cup qualifier

England's women's team began their World Cup qualifying campaign in resounding fashion with an 8-0 thrashing of North Macedonia in Southampton, giving new coach Sarina Wiegman the perfect start to her tenure.

Ella Toone opened the scoring after 12 minutes, and England added two more in the closing moments before half-time through Ellen White and a Julija Zivikj own goal.

White scored her second of the game from the penalty spot on 67 minutes after a foul by Zivikj, before a late flurry of goals put the gloss on the scoreline.

Bethany England scored 13 minutes from time, pouncing after Suarta Rechi had saved a Nikita Parris effort. A Sara Kolarovska own goal two minutes later made it 6-0.

England netted her second in the 90th minute, with Beth Mead completing the rout in stoppage time.

"We only learned [from tonight] in an attacking way," former Netherlands manager Wiegman said. "Against a top-ranking team it's going to be different. What we know is we need to finish better than we did today.

"We can be a little bit more composed, more connected, those little things. So we can learn from that and bring it to a higher level, so that even against a better opponent, we can score too."

The nine group winners qualify directly for the 2023 Women's World Cup, which is co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand. England travel to play Luxembourg on Tuesday, and will also face Austria, Latvia and Northern Ireland in Group D.

England reached the semifinals of the 2019 Women's World Cup, before losing 2-1 to United States. England have not played a competitive match since losing the third-place playoff to Sweden, 802 days ago.