England fight back to beat Colombia and reach Women’s World Cup semi-finals
Posted by  badge Boss on Aug 12, 2023 - 06:49PM
Alessia Russo and Lauren Hemp found the back of the net in Sydney (Picture: Getty Images)

are into the semi-final of the after coming from behind to beat Colombia 2-1 in Sydney on Saturday.

The Lionesses were made to work hard by the physical South American side, who took the lead in the first half and had the favourites on the back foot.

It was the impressive Leicy Santos who gave Colombia that lead 44 minutes in as a cross-shot floated over Mary Earps in the England goal, reminiscent of David Seaman being beaten by Ronaldinho back in 2002.

It could have rattled Sarina Wiegman’s side but they were gifted an equaliser in stoppage time in the first half as Colombia goalkeeper Catalina Perez spilled a routine take, allowing Lauren Hemp to poke home.

There were chances at both ends in the second half, but it was Alessia Russo who made the difference between the sides, smartly finishing a through ball from Georgia Stanway just after the hour-mark.

Colombia pushed hard and England were forced into some last ditch defending a the final whistle approached, but that whistle did come without any more goals and the Lionesses keep their World Cup dream alive.

It certainly does not get any easier for Wiegman’s women, with co-hosts Australia next up in the semis on Wednesday in Sydney after their dramatic penalty shootout win over France earlier on Saturday.

Alessia Russo celebrates giving England the lead with Ella Toone (Picture: Getty Images)

England got off to a good start, looking bright and there was an early problem for Colombia as Carolina Arias was forced off with injury just 10 minutes in.

The Lionesses had chances through Rachel Daly and Russo, but neither could break the early deadlock as they fired efforts straight at the goalkeeper and over the bar.

Colombia began to get into their rhythm midway into the opening stanza, with the exciting Linda Caicedo looking bright, and they took the lead shortly before the break.

Santos had the ball in the inside-right channel and whether she saw an opportunity or misplaced a cross was not clear, but her curled, right-footed effort dipped over the diving Earps and into the far corner.

Leicy Santos scored the opening goal in Sydney on Saturday (Picture: Getty Images)

It was a serious blow for England but they were level five minutes later thanks to a gift from goalkeeper Perez who should have grabbed a loose ball in the penalty box easily but fumbled it, without much pressure at all on her.

Hemp was the sharpest to the blunder and gratefully poked the ball into an empty net as Perez sprawled on the ground, embarrassed with her error.

Lauren Hemp scrambled a finish to put England level in first half stoppage time (Picture: Getty Images)

Mayra Ramirez fired a shot wide early in the second half but it was England who quickly began to gain control and just after the hour mark the Lionesses were ahead through Russo.

Stanway slid in the Arsenal striker down the right of the penalty area and, although the ball really should have been cut out, Russo was alive to the chance and fired a shot across Perez and low into the far corner.

Russo proved lethal in the penalty box yet again (Picture: Getty Images)

There were some nervy moments for the England defence over the final half hour, but they defended resolutely, not really looking like conceding despite Colombia pressing for an equaliser.

Earps produced a good save from a Lorena Bedoya Durango long-range effort while there was very stern defending from the likes of Lucy Bronze, Alex Greenwood and Jess Carter.

Caicedo was the last to have a pop at goal, but her tame effort deep into injury time sailed high and wide as England secured their spot in the final four.

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