England booked its spot in the Women’s World Cup Final on Wednesday in a 3-1 win over the hosts Australia. The Lionesses marched on to the grandest stage in the sport with goals from Ella Toone, Lauren Hemp, and Alessia Russo. Matildas star Sam Kerr scored her first goal of the tournament but England proved too strong for the home team.
As ‘Sweet Caroline’ echoed around Stadium Australia, the Lionesses celebrated their convincing win after a well-rounded performance. Despite Kerr’s best efforts to deliver a home Women’s World Cup win for her country, the Matildas were knocked out by the European champions.
They were sound in defense, creative in the middle, and menacing in attack. Millie Bright patrolled the air for England and pumped a steady supply of long balls into the attacking area. Toone sent England’s first goal rocketing off her laces and into the net in the 36th minute. Kerr responded with a long-distance screamer, sending the home crowd into pandemonium.
Bright set up Hemp with a long pass into the box to take the lead, Hemp pulled on the bouncing ball between two Australian defenders. Australia made every effort to equalize, hoping to keep their World Cup dreams intact. Kerr winced in frustration when she missed the Aussies best chance on goal in the 84th minute. One minute later, England delivered the knockout punch with Alessia Russo’s goal, her third of the tournament.
A red-hot Spanish side awaits England, it is both teams’ first trip to a Women’s World Cup final. The all-European final will feature two teams that play high-tempo, attacking brands of football. English striker Lauren James will return from a two-game suspension for the final on Sunday.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup final will take place on Aug 21 at 6 am ET.
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