Two Reds help England reach last four

Saturday 12 August 2023 14:00

Manchester United Women duo Mary Earps and Ella Toone played the full 90 minutes as England booked their place in the last four of the 2023 Women's World Cup, after beating Colombia 2-1.

Sarina Wiegman's side had to come from behind to see off the South Americans in Sydney, after Leicy Santos had given Las Cafeteras the lead just moments before the half-time interval.

But behind for only a matter of minutes, Lauren Hemp capitalised on a mistake at the back to prod home the leveller, before former Red Alessia Russo netted the matchwinner just after the hour mark.

It means the Lionesses will now face joint hosts Australia in Wednesday's semi-final showdown, having taken yet another step closer to potentially more international glory.
Mary Earps was once again in top form as England progressed.

It was England who began on the frontfoot, with Russo's header after ten minutes played being well saved by Catalina Perez in the Colombia goal.

A physical battle throughout, Wiegman's side continued to come forward, with Rachel Daly the next player to come close, with her own headed effort easily gathered by Perez.

But with half-time approaching, Nelson Abadia's team took the lead at Stadium Australia, with Santos chipping her effort over Earps.

Finding herself in both time and space inside the penalty area, the 27-year-old's cross-cum-shot lofted over United's goalkeeper, giving Colombia the advantage.

England, however, quickly dusted themselves off and were behind for only a matter of minutes as the interval approached, with the ball falling kindly initial to Russo inside the area.

Perez initially grabbed hold of the ball, it seemed, before Hemp reacted quickest to snatch at the goalkeeper's error, prodding home the Lionesses' leveller.
Jubilation for England down under.
With not much to separate the two sides once more in the second half, it took Weigman's side just 18 minutes to find a go-ahead goal during the second period.

Georgia Stanway initially tried to pick out Russo in behind the Colombia backline, with defender Daniela Arias subsequently failing to clear the danger.

The ball bounced kindly into the path of the 24-year-old, who slammed home past Arias to give England the lead.

Earps was in inspired form late on in Sydney too, saving wonderfully from Lorena Bedoya Durango on two different occasions.
But hold on they did, booking their place in the tournament's last four, with a semi-final date with Australia now set for Wednesday morning (11:00 BST).

Katie Zelem was an unused substitute throughout the contest, but we expect to see more of her as the tournament continues to hot up.

Congratulations to Mary, Ella and Katie on their advancement.


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