England made a statement during Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Latvia, scoring a record number of goals in a 20-0 win.
That wasn’t the only record of the night, as Manchester City striker Ellen White broke the career goal-scoring record for England thanks to a hat trick in the win. She now has 48 international goals, surpassing Kelly Smith’s record of 46 goals.
The 20 goals scored is the most ever for an English national team.
Previously, the record for most goals in a game stood at 13, from when the women’s team scored 13 against Hungary in 2005. The English men’s team also scored 13 against Ireland in 1882.
Beth Mead, Alessia Russo and Lauren May Hemp joined White in scoring hat tricks while a total of 10 England players found the back of the net. For Hemp, who netted four, it was her first goals in an England uniform.
But the score has brought on more questions about the level of competition on the international stage. England is not the only team to have blown out their opponent, with the Republic of Ireland dominating Georgia 11-0 and Norway downing Armenia 10-0 on Tuesday. In late November, Belgium defeated Armenia 19-0 in their qualifier.
The scores have led to discussion about implementing pre-qualifiers to create a more well-rounded process.
“I think we have to look at it,” England manager Sarina Wiegman told reporters. “You want competitive games and these are not competitive games. In every country, you want to develop the women’s game, but I don’t think it’s good that the scores are so high.
“I know that has the attention of the federations and UEFA and FIFA, and I think that’s good because I don’t think a 20-0 is good for the development of anyone. We need some top-level games now, which we’re going to have because then we’ll really know where we are.”
England is set to face off against Austria in the Women’s Euro 2022 tournament in July.