England 6 Belarus 0 match report: Karen Carney fires superb hat-trick as England's women cut loose


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The Independent Football

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

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 after three minutes. 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 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 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 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 was delighted to show her club form on the international stage. "I'm just really excited," she said. "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 well, and I really enjoyed it."

England Brown; Scott, Stoney, Bradley, Bronze, Williams (Moore, 72), Nobbs, Carney (Scott, 63), Aluko, White, Duggan (Dowie, 56).

Belarus Savostyan; Shpak, Vasileyera, Avkhimerich, Mirashmichenka (Philipenka, 46), Kiose, Slesavchik (Borisenko, 25), Demisenko, Linnyk, Astasheva (Denisenko 85), Kharlanova.

Referee R Hussein (Ger).