By John Ensor •
Updated: 16 Aug 2023 • 20:31
Is it finally England’s time to shine on the world stage? The Lionesses have made history by reaching the Women’s World Cup final for the first time, defeating Australia 3-1.
On Wednesday, August 16, England triumphed over Australia at Sydney’s Stadium Australia, with goals from Ella Toone, Lauren Hemp, and Alessia Russo. The victory was a significant achievement against the Matildas, a team that had been a thorn in England’s side in recent years, writes Metro.
Facing a boisterous home crowd, England’s women showcased a masterful performance. Australia had been the only team to defeat Sarina Wiegman’s squad in the last 37 matches, but England’s clinical play ensured a spot in the final against Spain.
Toone’s 36th-minute goal was the opener, but it was equalised by Sam Kerr’s brilliant solo effort. However, Hemp and Russo’s goals sealed England’s passage to the final, displaying both skill and determination.
The match saw Wiegman stick with the same starting XI, while Australia’s star Kerr was fit to play. Alanna Kennedy, however, missed the game due to illness.
The first opportunity fell to Kerr, who was stopped by England’s goalkeeper Mary Earps. England then missed a chance to lead when Georgia Stanway’s volley was saved by Mackenzie Arnold.
England’s attack was in fine form, with Russo hitting the side netting and Australia struggling to contain their opponents. A moment of brilliance from Russo set up Toone’s goal, silencing the 75,784-strong crowd.
Australia’s energy increased after half-time, but England remained in control. A missed opportunity by Mille Bright was punished by Kerr’s stunning 25-yard strike.
England’s response was swift, with Lucy Bronze’s cross and Russo’s header threatening the Australian goal. A defensive error allowed Hemp to score, and the scrappy goal was a fitting testament to England’s journey to the final.
The Lionesses had to endure some late scares but continued to attack. A dazzling run from Hemp set up Russo’s goal in the 86th minute, securing England’s place in the first-ever Women’s World Cup final against Spain on Sunday.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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