Ella Toone keeps England’s Olympic dreams alive

Wembley Stadium before kick off.

THE Lionesses hosted the Netherlands at home at Wembley stadium on Friday night and didn’t they keep us at the end of our seats.

It was Ella Toone (Manchester United), that brought the win home and the Lionesses closer to Olympic qualification.

The Lionesses need to pull out a win against the Netherlands to keep their hopes of qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympics alive.

The game was going to be a difficult one under the Wembley arch, with the cold weather conditions and opposition in the top 10 of FIFA rankings.

The game started and the Lionesses came out strong in the first ten minutes but from there, their weaknesses were found and played upon.

Lineth Beerensteyn (Juventus) glided past England’s defence, scoring a brace in the 12th and 35th minute, from here the win for Netherlands looked almost imminent.

After the break, Beth Mead (Arsenal) came on for Chloe Kelly (Manchester City) to try and get some goals back for England and from here they were ruthless.

With Mead making her first appearance for her nation in over a year she influenced the game in a way no other player can.

Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich) scored first for her country in the 59th minute then it was closely followed by Lauren Hemp a minute later.

With both teams level and currently sharing points, it was all systems to go to get that final goal to drive the win home.

Desperate for the win, England’s Head Coach Sarina Wiegman, brought on Toone and Alessia Russo (Arsenal) in attack and Esme Morgan (Manchester City) in defence.

All three players impacted the game massively and possession was in England’s hand and it was the fight for the win.

During the dying minutes of the game, Toone pushed her way through Netherlands defence to win the game in front of a home crowd.

Now level on points it is all to play for in the final match where England play Scotland and Netherlands play Belgium both hoping to qualifying.

Netherlands just have to win whereas England have to win and score enough to close the gap on their goal difference.

Will Toone step forward again to accomplish England’s dream to qualify for the Olympics next summer?