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England beat Colombia to reach Women’s World Cup semi-finals
Colombia lost for the first time at this stage of the tournament, a run fueled by a shock win over Germany in the group stage, and the Colombians produced another favorite performance when they took a 1-0 lead after a stunning goal from Leci. Santos.
But in the end, the Lions came back and hung on to seal their place in the semi-finals against Australia.
European champions England have struggled to find their stride in the knockout stages, needing a penalty shootout to beat Nigeria in the round-of-16 just short of a win over Colombia.
But, regardless, they have reached the semi-finals, avoiding the upset of succumbing to many of the other favourites, capitalizing on the experience of losing just one match in coach Sarina Wikman’s two years in charge.
“We absolutely (had to dig deep). I think we had to dig deep from the first game,” the goal-scoring Russo told broadcaster ITV.
“The way it is, they (Colombia) have a lot of talented players that can give you problems in a second, but I thought our back line was brilliant.”
Alessia Russo scored England’s second goal of the game.
The Lions were the better of the early exchanges but Russo’s header only found the goalkeeper’s hands, as did Rachel Daly’s effort fifteen minutes later.
Colombia matched England’s attacking intent early on; Teenage superstar Linda Caicedo made the now-familiar zinging run, bamboozling defenders in the box, but her shot flew over the crossbar.
Colombia, as they have done throughout the tournament, sprinkled some magic on the field, and the game turned upside down just before the break.
Santos launched a neat strike from the right side of the box that curled into the net, over the England defense and the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Mary Earps.
Santos was immediately mobbed in celebration by his teammates Coffee pots Leading 1-0 just before half-time, they were halfway to a historic defeat.
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Lizzie Santos celebrates with her teammates.
Their lead lasted less than 10 minutes, however, as England capitalized on a blunder by goalkeeper Catalina Perez. Jute reacted very quickly, pushing the ball back and leveling just before half-time.
Hemp, aged 23 years and five days, became the youngest player to score for England in a Women’s World Cup knockout match, surpassing teammate Lucy Bronze, who scored against Norway in 2015 at the age of 23 years and 237 days.
Both teams seemed to reset a bit after the break, before England came from a unlikely position to take the lead for the first time in the match. A long, speculative ball downfield from Georgia Stanway appeared to be covered by the Colombian defence, but it was cleared clear and Russo was on hand to fire the ball into the net.
Despite late Colombian pressure, England held on and will now face old rivals and tournament co-hosts Australia in Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final. The match will be played at Sydney’s Stadium Australia – the venue for the quarter-final between England and Colombia – where the Matildas will be in huge support from their home fans.
“It’s exciting. What more could you want?” “You want to play against the best teams, obviously, and they’re the hosts,” Russo said. I think Columbia has a big fan base tonight, so I think we got a little taste, but I’m really excited.