England advanced to the Women’s World Cup final by beating co-hosts Australia early Wednesday. In what was a road match, the Lionesses endured a tough atmosphere to qualify for their first-ever final in tournament history. They will now set up a title match with a formidable Spain team that knocked off Sweden on Tuesday.
Teams trade stunning goals in opening hour of match
Ella Toone put the Lionesses ahead in the 36th minute of the match. The midfielder collected the ball inside of Australia’s box after quality work to keep possession by her teammates. Toone then sent an arrowing shot straight into the far corner of the net. No goalkeeper would have saved the powerful shot.
Not to be outdone, Australian superstar Sam Kerr leveled the scoreline in the second half with one of the goals of the tournament. Kerr, who was starting her first match of the competition, picked up possession on the halfway line and raced toward the goal. With no other teammate in sight, the striker sent a ridiculous strike from distance to beat a diving Mary Earps in goal.
England advances to World Cup Final with late goals from Hemp and Russo
Nevertheless, England would take control of the match following the stunning strike by Kerr. Lauren Hemp capitalized on a defensive error to give the Lionesses the lead once again in the 71st minute. Alessia Russo then put the finishing touches on the match with a goal just four minutes from the full-time whistle.
Outside of the wonder goal, England’s defensive strategy worked perfectly on the night. The co-hosts attempted to make dangerous runs from counterattacks throughout the match, but they were mostly unsuccessful. England has now only allowed three total goals in six matches at the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
The stifling English defense will next be tested by a strong Spanish team. Spain has managed to score 17 total goals at the tournament so far. The title match is all set for Sunday, Aug. 20 at 6 a.m. ET. Neither side has ever collected a Women’s World Cup trophy. Australia and Sweden will also face off on the day for third place in the tournament.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Icon Sportswire
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