It’s the game the whole nation has been waiting for; the last semi-final match between Australia and England at Stadium Australia.
The co-hosts enter this game after a prolonged penalty shootout against France in the quarter-finals, where Sydeny FC’s Cortnee Vine scored the winning penalty to seal the Matildas’ place in their first ever semi-final. Off the back of beating Colombia, England are entering their third consecutive semi-final at the Women’s World Cup, hoping third time’s a charm and that they’ll make it to the final this time round.
Will the winners be the home-country heroes of Australia or will England finally break their semi-final curse at the Women’s World Cup? Lets take a look at the action in this highly-anticipated matchup.
It was an intense, back-and-forth game early on with Sam Kerr almost getting onto the scoresheet in the seventh minute but was ruled offside. Two minutes later, England had the first major shot on target through Georgia Stanway. The Bayern Munich midfielder was able to make a run past Clare Hunt and had a shot at goal where Mackenzie Arnold responded with a strong save.
The Lionesses kept piling on the pressure throughout the first half with Rachel Daly and Alessia Russo unable to get their shots on target. Hayley Raso was able to get a shot off in the 30th minute but was blocked by Lucy Bronze.
After all their chances early on, England managed to find the opener through Ella Toone in the 36th minute. Alessia Russo was able to lay it off to her former Manchester United teammate, who struck it first time into the top right corner.
Australia were eager to find an equaliser before half-time, with chances from Katrina Gorry and Sam Kerr. However, England were able to stay strong defensivley and ended the half a goal up.
Australia looked like a different team coming into the second half, looking more threatening as they went forward with Kerr and Foord getting chances in the box early on. England were still able to create chances with Lauren Hemp’s shot saved by Mackenzie Arnold and Millie Bright’s header falling just wide of the goal.
In the 67th minute as the Matildas were on a counter attack, Sam Kerr out of nowhere scores an absolute screamer from outside the box, putting the scores level once again.
Australia’s lead didn’t last long as Lauren Hemp was able to score the Lionesses’ second in the 71st minute. Hemp put the pressure and punished Australia after Ellie Carpenter couldn’t clear the ball properly.
The Matildas had chances to equalise with substitute Cortnee Vine getting amongst the action with her shot being saved by Mary Earps and Sam Kerr’s volley going wide not too long after. Alessia Russo cemented England’s spot in the World Cup final in the 86th minute; where Hemp once again involved in the build-up as she was able to spot the run of Russo who slotted it past Arnold.
England will now go on to their first ever Women’s World Cup final on Sunday where they will have to beat Spain in order to get their hands on the coveted trophy.