England beat Norway 8-0 to thrill the Amex


It is now more than eight years since England’s women scored nine goals at the Amex on the day Albion’s men drew 0-0 at Barnsley.

There were some household names in this England team that beat the Minnows of Montenegro in a World Cup qualifier.

They speak of Steph Houghton, Karen Carney, Eni Aluko, Alex Scott and Toni Duggan, who scored a hat trick.

But that early April afternoon, good as it was no doubt for those not shivering in Oakwell, has not gone down in Amex legend.

It’s probably fair to suggest that.

Perhaps that’s because the crowd that afternoon was just under 9,000.

Decent but 20,000 less than enjoyed a Euro 2022 game on a beautiful warm summer evening that will surely go into the stadium’s hall of fame.

Eight was great for England and their fans (although they should be in double digits), unchallenged against a strong Norwegian side.

The Amex provided a fabulous stage for an electrifying performance from the hosts after an early, rather soft penalty nullified a commanding start for the world-ranked No. 11 visitors.

From the cacophony during a frenetic start, to the anticipation as the next wave of attacks threatened the Norwegian defence, to the happy farewell at the end.

The Brighton Community Stadium, as it is officially named for the event (although few seem to adhere to it), looked and sounded every bit as stunning as the football it staged.

And England WERE stunning – accurate, penetrating, quick, strong and more disciplined in the first half than in the second.

There was joy at a first goal of the tournament for substitute former Albion forward Alessia Russo.

There might be some out there who suspect Russo’s hard-hitting header offered the added bonus of breaking the “Mexican” wave.

Yes, there could be. I don’t want to comment on that.

But that wave and the phone lights were part of the fun.

The joyous noise was incessant.

And Beth Mead created another hat-trick when the ball came back from Guro Pettersen, the stand-in for injured former Albion goalkeeper Cecilie Fiskerstrand.

Apparently, the organizers of Euro 2022 haven’t exactly been snowed in with bids to host these games.

Brighton and Hove – like Albion and the city – were just as enthusiastic as they were at Rugby World Cup 2015 when Japan gave us one of the magic moments.

England haven’t scored quite as many goals as they did in 2014.

But this bold call to opt for the Euros left many fans – both genders, all ages, Albion and non-Albion – on cloud nine last night. England beat Norway 8-0 to thrill the Amex

Fry Electronics Team

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