Not even 60 minutes had been played on that July night during England’s opening match at UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 as she left the pitch to a standing ovation.
Taylor had just scored a hatrick and dismantled auld enemy Scotland almost on her own. Three weeks later the 31-year-old was confirmed as winner of the golden boot.
Taylor’s five goals, three scored against Scotland and one each against Spain and France, Taylor won the trophy for the best goal scorer at Women’s Euro. She was the first English player to earn the award, even if she just missed matching the record of Germany’s Inka Grings, who scored six times at the Women’s Euro in 2009.
Ranks two and three in the scorers list were claimed by two of the new champions’ stars. The 21-yearold Vivianne Miedema received the silver boot for her four goals in six games followed by teammate Lieke Martens (three goals and two assists)- who was also named player of the tournament.
Together with Sherida Spitse the duo formed a ‘magic trio’ which offered a guarantee of success. Apart from the opening game against Norway they never stayed goalless and demonstrated their abilities right through to the final. In the 4-2 win over Denmark Miedema scored the crucial equalizer before Martens, Spitse and Miedema again decided the match.
Away from the final, the honour for the most effective goal scorer was claimed by Italian Daniela Sabatino. The forward of ACF Brescia spent only 83 minutes on the pitch, but scored twice – goals which earned Italy their single group win over Sweden.
** AIPS is the international sports journalists’ association with 10,000 members worldwide. and is currently undertaking a Young Reporters course in the Netherlands in co-operation with UEFA, More information: www.AIPSmedia.com
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