ENGLAND advanced to their first-ever Women’s World Cup final after beating co-hosts Australia 3-1 in their semi-final clash in Sydney today.
Incidentally, both teams have met Nigeria’s Super Falcons in the ongoing tournament, with the nine-time African champions beating Australia 3-2 in the group stages and losing to England on penalties in the round of 16.
Ella Toone, Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo struck for the European champions today while Sam Kerr scored for the Matildas before a crowd of over 75,000 at Stadium Australia.
Australia superstar Kerr, who has had fitness problems all through the tournament, started her first match of the competition and scored for the Matildas but it was not enough to stop England’s march to their second consecutive major final after the 2022 European Championships.
Toone opened the scoring in the 36th minute for the Lionesses with a brilliant long-range strike and they dominated possession in the first half.
Kerr’s equaliser in the 63rd minute with a brilliant run and powerful shot gave the big Australia-supporting crowd some hope, but England sealed the historic win through Lauren Hemp in the 71st minute and Alessia Russo four minutes from time.
England’s Dutch head coach Sarina Wiegman also made history by becoming the first manager in World Cup history to reach a final with two different nations. She led the Netherlands to the 2019 final where they lost to the United States of America.
England will face Spain in Sunday’s final at Stadium Australia in Sydney, with both teams featuring in their first-ever Women’s World Cup final.
Australia will play Sweden in the third place match on Saturday in Brisbane.