Ruthless England beat Australia to set up Women’s World Cup final with Spain | Football News

Ruthless England beat Australia to set up Women’s World Cup final with Spain | Football News

NEW DELHI: In a stunning upset in Sydney on Wednesday, England dashed Australian hopes with a clinical 3-1 victory, securing a spot in the Women’s World Cup final against Spain.

After stumbling at the same stage in previous tournaments, the Lionesses left no room for error this time, marking their first-ever entry into the final.
Manchester United’s Ella Toone ignited the scoreboard nine minutes before halftime, unleashing a rocket from inside the box with the outside of her boot.

Sam Kerr, back in action after an injury, responded for the home side with a breathtaking 30-yard strike in the second half, igniting the 75,784-strong partisan crowd.

However, their cheers were short-lived as Lauren Hemp powered her way into the box, finding the corner of the net eight minutes later. Alessia Russo added the finishing touch with four minutes remaining.
England now brace for a high-octane final against Spain on Sunday at Stadium Australia, promising a thrilling showdown. Spain, after a 2-1 victory over Sweden in the semifinals, stands as a formidable contender.
The Women’s World Cup trophy will bear a new name this year, marking a historic moment in the tournament’s legacy.
England’s previous attempts in 2015 and 2019 saw them fall short in the same stage, finishing third as their best World Cup achievement prior to this triumphant campaign.

But coach Sarina Wiegman led them to the European title last year on home soil and captain Millie Bright said before the match they were now better-placed to handle big-pressure games.
They demonstrated their resilience at a pumping and partisan Stadium Australia, successfully blanking out the noise to silence an expectant home nation.
Victory was all the sweeter against an opponent who had beaten them 2-0 in an April friendly — the only side to do so in 38 games since Wiegman took over.
Despite losing Australia have enjoyed their best World Cup ever, with a third-placed playoff against Sweden on Saturday still to play.
With Kerr fit again, Australian coach Tony Gustavsson moved Emily van Egmond to the bench in one of two changes with defender Clare Polkinghorne in for an ill Alanna Kennedy.

England stuck to the same XI that beat Colombia 2-1 with striker Lauren James serving the second of a two-match ban.
Both sides were nervy in the opening exchanges but Australia settled and a lofted ball through the middle from Katrina Gorry left Kerr with just goalkeeper Mary Earps to beat.
But the Manchester United stopper repelled the shot, with the offside flag later raised.
At the other end, fellow keeper MacKenzie Arnold rescued Australia minutes later, deflecting Georgia Stanway’s strike with her legs as the game opened up.
Kerr was in the thick of the early action and England ruthlessly looked to close her down with some heavy challenges, one of them earning Alex Greenwood a yellow card.

But as England grew in confidence they began controlling the midfield battle.
The breakthrough came in the 36th minute with Toone, in the side for James, arrowing her shot into the top right corner after Hemp pulled the ball back from the touch line.
With 45 minutes to save their tournament, Australia frantically pressed forward as the second half got under way and it paid dividends when Kerr’s wonder strike propelled them back into contention.
But England were unmoved and when Ellie Carpenter misjudged a long ball into the box, Hemp hustled her way through to score, before Russo finished calmly with her right foot to seal the win.
(With AFP inputs)

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