FIFA Women’s World Cup: Australia bows out; England vs Spain in the final showdown

The English Women’s football team shattered Australia’s dream of a World Cup final, defeating the Aussies 3-1 in the 2nd semifinal on Wednesday, August 16. The team now faces Spain in the final showdown to lift their first World Cup trophy on Sunday, August 20.

The European champions exited in the last four at the last two World Cups but a goal and an assist from Player of the Match Hemp helped them to a 3-1 win over the co-hosts at Stadium Australia.

After the win, England’s Forward player, Lauren Hemp was quoted as saying, “It’s an unbelievable achievement getting to a World Cup final. It’s every kid’s dream.” She further added, “Got a few days to recover, but then we go again because we want to win this obviously. Now we’ve got so far, why not.”

Meanwhile, Australia’s coach, Tony Gustavsson, said that the team defended well in that first half but agreed that the team lacked initiative in the attacking side of things. He also credited England and hailed their clear game plan.

England took a lead into halftime after a first-half goal from Ella Toone but the Matildas brought the 75,000 crowd back into the game when Sam Kerr scored a stunning long-range equaliser just after the hour mark.

Hemp soon put England back in front when she pounced on a defensive error before her stunning reverse pass put her strike partner Alessia Russo in for the third goal to kill off any chance of an Australia comeback.

England coach Sarina Wiegman, who will be the first coach to lead two different teams to World Cup finals after her native Netherlands lost the title-decider four years ag praised the ruthlessness of her England team, adding she was fast running out of words of praise for the team.

Wiegman has now made four consecutive major finals as a coach – Euro 2017 and the 2019 World Cup with the Netherlands before reaching the Euro 2022 final and now 2023 World Cup final with England. Wiegman won both Euro finals and lost to the U.S. in the 2019 World Cup final.

Meanwhile, in the 1st semifinal, Spain defeated Sweden with a rousing 2-1 win to enter their first-ever world cup final. Australia will now face Sweden to determine the third position on Saturday, August 19.

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