Australia and England have set up a face off in the semifinals of the 2023 Women’s World Cup thanks to victories on Saturday. The co-hosts grabbed their place in the final four by beating powerhouse France in a thrilling penalty shootout. England, on the other hand, completed a second-half comeback to finish off Colombia in their game.

Australia advance 7-6 in epic penalty shootout

The tournament co-hosts endured a tough French first half during early stage of the match. France had some solid opportunities to get on the scoreboard at the start, but couldn’t quite complete their chances. Australia, in front of nearly 50,000 fans, then slowly began getting more into the match. Hayley Raso had the team’s best chance at scoring in the first half. However, the shot toward the open net before the halftime break was cleverly blocked by Élisa De Almeida.

As the game ended scoreless, penalties would decide the winner. Both sides traded scores and saves during the shootout. Nevertheless, Australian goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold made a series a saves to help guide the co-hosts to victory. Arnold saved four penalty shots, two on the same player after VAR ruled that the keeper came off of her line. Courtnee Vine then eventually converted the match-winning shot after the hectic moments.

England complete historic comeback to move on to Women’s World Cup semifinal

Although not the same type of match, England also advanced in the competition in dramatic circumstances. Colombia took the lead in the matchup just minutes before the halftime break. Leicy Santos put the South Americans ahead with a gorgeous goal over the head of England goalkeeper Mary Earps. The Three Lionesses, however, quickly struck back with a goal from Lauren Hemp in added time of the period.

Alessia Russo then scored the eventual winner in the 63rd minute of the match. The new Arsenal forward collected a loose ball inside the box and neatly finished a shot by the diving keeper. England would hang on for the win, becoming the first team at the tournament to complete a comeback and advance in the knockout round.

Australia and England will now face off on Wednesday, August 16th at 6AM (ET). All four teams currently remaining in the semifinals at the competition are currently ranked in FIFA’s top 10. Spain is also set to play Sweden in the other match in the final four.

Photo credit: IMAGO / Sports Press Photo