England women thrash Belarus in World Cup qualifier

By Sam SheringhamBBC Sport
Highlights England 6-0 Belarus

Karen Carney scored a first-half hat-trick as England women opened their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 6-0 thrashing of Belarus.

In the first game since manager Hope Powell's sacking, England dominated opponents ranked 27 places below them.

Carney opened the scoring and fired in two more after Ellen White had rounded off a neat passing move in Bournemouth.

Substitute Natasha Dowie headed in the fifth before setting up Eni Aluko to complete a one-sided affair.

It was the perfect start to a new era for England after Powell's 15-year reign ended with a disappointing exit at the group stage of Euro 2013.

The side are currently under the caretaker stewardship of Powell's former assistant Brent Hills, who made three changes to the team beaten 3-0 by France in their final game in Sweden.

England - who are also joined in their Canada 2015 qualifying group by Wales, Montenegro, Ukraine and Turkey - have not lost a qualifier since 2002 and never looked likely to slip up after Carney gave them an early lead.

Racing through the middle, the Birmingham City forward kept her composure to slot home via the inside of the post.

Moments after side-footing over the bar from close-range, White stroked in a pass from Jordan Nobbs to make it 2-0.

Carney completed her hat-trick inside 40 minutes when she drove in from 25 yards before latching on to a loose ball in the area and crashing in a left-footed shot.

The onslaught continued in the second half as substitute Dowie nodded home after her original header from Carney's cross had rebounded off the bar.

And Liverpool striker Dowie turned provider to tee up Aluko from close range to make it 6-0.

England wasted numerous chances to run up an even higher score, but the comprehensive victory sets them up well for Thursday's second qualifier against Turkey in Portsmouth.

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