England's most frequent victims in these high-scoring affairs
have been united Ireland in 15 matches, Wales in 11, Northern Ireland in 10
and Scotland in 9. England have, of course, played these opponents many
more times than those outside the United Kingdom.
European opponents, Belgium leads the way, having conceded five goals or more
to England on six occasions, largely because they played England earlier and more often
than most other Continental European teams.
scored five goals or more against North American opponents five times--against the U.S.A.
four times and Mexico once.
England have never scored five goals or more against a South American
side. This paucity is the result of several factors: England did not meet South American opposition until 1950, when
they already had lost their supremacy in the football world; the
quality of the South American sides England have played has generally been
extremely high; and, finally, most of the matches against
South American teams came after defence-oriented tactics had begun to take
hold of the game.
Nor have England ever scored five or more goals
against an African, Asian or Oceanian opponent. Again that is because of
several factors: England have generally played only the best teams from
those continents; England did
not meet teams from those continents until the 1980's, when the gap in the
quality of the strongest national teams from the various continents had begun
to narrow and when defensive tactics had taken over the game; England have
played teams from those continents infrequently; and, finally, the vast majority of England's matches
against these opponents have been played away.