Sanderson in dreamland

Lianne Sanderson admits she is still pinching herself after helping England secure qualification to the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The Boston Breakers striker scored the fourth in her side’s 4-0 victory against Wales on Thursday – a result that booked their place at the 2015 finals in Canada.

And after spending four years in the international wilderness, Sanderson says she is delighted to be back and at the centre of things.

Wales 0-4 England

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015
Group 6 qualifier
Thursday 21 August 2014
Cardiff City Stadium
England qualify for the World Cup

“It really is a dream come true to be back playing for England,” she said.

“It still feels a bit surreal. But I’m going to enjoy it. I go back to America on Monday – the season has is over now but I’m looking forward to spending some time with my family at home and being in England for a bit.”

The Three Lions all but secured the victory in a six-minute spell in the first half as Mark Sampson’s charges scored three goals just before the break.

Sanderson met Alex Scott’s inch-perfect cross to head home and effectively end the contest. 

And speaking after the game, the 26-year-old admitted the way in which she netted her 13th international goal also took her by surprise.

“It was weird because I never usually score headers,” she added. 

“Anyone who knows me will know that. But it was a great ball from Alex and all I needed to do was connect with it.”

Attention now turns to a ten-month preparation period before the World Cup, and Sanderson ended by saying she intends to use every moment to make sure she is ready when the time comes.

“I’m just going to do all I can to be picked for that team and get myself in the best physical condition,” she continued. 

“We’re a team now. We dig in together, we win together, we lose together and I think we’ve come a long way under Mark in such a short space of time.”