They say home is where the heart is – and this certainly rings true for England forward Toni Duggan.
The 26-year-old, who hails from Liverpool, put in a star performance at Tranmere Rovers’ Prenton Park as Mark Sampson’s side romped to a 6-0 win over Russia in their opening World Cup qualifier.
Duggan scored a second-half brace to add to earlier strikes from Birkenhead-born Jodie Taylor, Nikita Parris, Jordan Nobbs and Lucy Bronze.
- 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup
- Group One qualifier
- Tuesday 19 September
- Prenton Park, Tranmere Rovers
“A nice little present for my friends, my family and my boyfriend who travel up and down the country and abroad wherever we play.
“This one was closer to home so it was nice to repay the favour to them.”
Duggan moved to the sunny climbs of Barcelona in the summer, having signed for the Spanish giants from Manchester City.
But she was delighted to be back home, representing her country so close to where she grew up.
She said: “It meant a lot.
“I had my family and friends here but all the supporters who helped us at the Euros; they always back the team, they’ve always followed us and [it was great] to see so many young girls here, cheering and celebrating.
“Hopefully we can come back.”
Duggan continued: “We didn’t take Russia lightly. They’re a great team and had a great Euros.
“But let’s not take anything away from ourselves and our performance because Russia only got beat 2-0 by Germany and by Sweden in the past so to come out and win 6-0 is a great credit to all the girls and the staff.”
England have two more home World Cup qualifiers before Christmas.
They entertain Bosnia & Herzegovina at Banks’s Stadium in Walsall on Friday 24 November (7.05pm KO) before hosting Kazakhstan at Colchester United FC on Tuesday 28 November (7.05pm KO).
Tickets are priced £7.50 for adults and £1 for children and concessions, and can be bought via TheFA.com/Tickets.
Group booking and Charter Standard discounts also apply.