England forward Beth Mead struggled for words following a hat-trick against Norway that helped secure top spot in Group A and a place in the Euro 2022 quarter-finals with a game to spare.
The Lionesses ran riot in the first half in Brighton in front of almost 29,000 fans at another packed stadium. Georgia Stanway scored an early penalty, before Mead laid on a quick second for Lauren Hemp and then scored two of her own. By the half-time whistle it was 6-0.
Mead completed her hat-trick with England’s eighth goal, a new European Championship record across both the men’s and women’s tournaments.
Norway are the 11th best team in the world according to FIFA, only three places below England in the global rankings. The return of Ada Hegerberg earlier this year had even led them to be considered by many as dark horse contenders at this tournament.
But this was a statement win for England of epic proportion, with the reality exceeding anything Mead had previously dreamed of.
“I just can’t put it into words,” the Arsenal star told BBC One. “I don’t think I even dreamed of this. I’m just so happy I got the goals to help the team.
“I’m just loving being here, loving being part of this team and loving every minute. It’s an incredible feeling to feel how I do right now. The girls need to enjoy this one. These are the moments we need to enjoy.”
Mead, meanwhile, has given herself a huge chance to finish as Euro 2022 top scorer. Her tally after two games now stands at four after netting England’s only goal in their opener against Austria.
For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!