Women’s World Cup LIVE: England news as Lionesses prepare for Australia semi-final

‘Keeping the dream alive’: Alessia Russo reacts to scoring England’s winning goal

England are preparing to face Australia in the Women’s World Cup semi-finals, with the hosts gripped by Matildas fever ahead of Wednesday’s crunch clash in Sydney.

The Lionesses reached the semi-finals as they came from behind to beat Colombia on Saturday and will return to Stadium Australia to face the hosts, with Sarina Wiegman’s side looking to reach their first ever World Cup final. Australia defeated France on penalties in what was the most-watched sporting event in the country since the 2000 Olympics, with the excitement set to build even further ahead of facing rivals England.

The World Cup semi-finals kick off tomorrow with Spain meeting Sweden in Auckland for a place in Sunday’s showpiece final. All four teams left in the World Cup are looking to win the tournament for the first time, with European champions England remaining slight favourites. Sweden were impressive in knocking out Japan in the quarter-finals, while Spain have a hugely talented squad and Australia have the momentum and backing of their home support.

Follow all the latest World Cup news and updates ahead of the semi-finals in today’s live blog.

Women’s World Cup LIVE: Latest news and updates

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Spain vs Sweden: Kick-off time and how to watch on TV

Spain face Sweden in the first Women’s World Cup semi-final on Tuesday as both nations go in search of their first tournament crown.

Sweden produced their best performance of the World Cup to defeat Japan 2-1 in the quarter-finals, knocking out the team of the tournament with a display of high-tempo pressing while continuing to take their chances at set-pieces.

Centre-back Amanda Ilestedt is Sweden’s top-scorer with four goals so far, with the defender in the race for the World Cup golden boot.

Spain required Salma Paralluelo’s extra-time goal to defeat Netherlands and have navigated a player mutiny under head coach Jorge Vilda to reach their first ever World Cup semi-final.

The winner will play either England or Australia in Sunday’s World Cup final. Here’s everything you need to know.

Jamie Braidwood14 August 2023 12:46


Women’s World Cup

Sarina Wiegman pleased with England spirit in comeback:

“I think the team again showed some resilience and a lot of togetherness. And yeah, I’m just really proud again of the team. As a team, I think we did a great job. But at moments they had some crosses that were very dangerous and I think how we got them (the defenders) to solve that (worked) really well.”

(The FA via Getty Images)

Jamie Braidwood14 August 2023 12:01


Lucy Bronze revealed England would have failed to live up to their own expectations had they not reached the World Cup semi-finals.

“If we hadn’t have gotten to the semi-final, I would have said that we would have underperformed,” the defender said.

“A lot of people said that England were the team that were going to flop a little bit. Our performances haven’t been our best, granted, but the results have been there and we’ve got to the semi-final, which is what this England team is known for doing.

“This very much reminds me of 2015, having to fight in every single game.

“I think the difference with this team is we have won trophies, we have won tournaments, so we do know what to do.

“We knew coming into the tournament that it wasn’t going to be easy. There was a lot of outside noise about whether England was going to be able to cope well with everything thrown at us…and the semi-final is what is expected of us as the England team.”

(PA Wire)

Jamie Braidwood14 August 2023 11:01


Women’s World Cup

Matildas Tameka Yallop and Lydia Williams on Monday resisted every attempt to get them to imbue this week’s Women’s World Cup semi-final with extra meaning because they are facing Australia’s fiercest sporting rival, England.

Still coming down from the high of Saturday’s dramatic victory over France, the two experienced internationals were quick to scotch the idea that facing England on Wednesday for a place in the final held special significance.

“I think it’s just another game,” said goalkeeper Williams.

“At the end of the day we know how to shift focus to representing and performing. It’s a significant game, obviously we are in the semi-finals, but it’s just another opponent for us.”

While Williams watched on as fellow keeper MacKenzie Arnold starred in Saturday’s shootout thriller that triggered ‘Matildas Mania’ across Australia, midfielder Yallop came into the match as a substitute and buried the seventh penalty.

“The feeling in the group is really high at the moment and we definitely enjoyed every second of that match, in front of that crowd, and of course in front of everyone watching in Australia and beyond the borders as well,” she said.

Jamie Braidwood14 August 2023 10:31


Women’s World Cup

The Lionesses will be ready to face Australia in front of the home fans after playing against Colombia’s passionate support in the quarter-finals, according to Beth England.

“I think the atmosphere is going to be amazing,” the striker said. “I thought the crowd tonight was incredible. Every time we touched the ball they were booing but I think you just relish it because these are the atmosphere you want from stadiums. 75,000 and the Australian fans are going to bring a nice big bit of noise through. It’s going to be interesting and entertaining for everyone.

“We’ve been in this situation where we’ve had a lot of noise. The Euros last year at Old Trafford, Wembley. It’s nothing these girls aren’t used to now. We are getting in more and more in the women’s game. Selling out, getting big crowds and not being able to think. So it’s just going to be an exciting game and a special one.”

Jamie Braidwood14 August 2023 10:01


Women’s World Cup

Coach Tony Gustavsson expects Australia’s run to the Women’s World Cup semi-finals to resonate far beyond the sport’s regular audience as the Matildas’ exploits dominated the nation’s media the morning after their penalty shoot-out win over France.

“I genuinely really believe that this team can create history in so many ways, not just winning football games,” Gustavsson said.

“The way that they can inspire the next generation, how they can unite a nation or they can leave a legacy that is much bigger than 90 minutes of football. I think that is also why I believe in them so much.

“The why is so much bigger than just football and when that drives you…that is a powerful tool that can be very difficult to stop.

“I’ve sensed that from day one working with this team, the inner drive and the why is what gets them to where they are today.”

(Getty Images)

Jamie Braidwood14 August 2023 09:01


Women’s World Cup

One of the oldest sporting rivalries will be played on a new stage, after England overcame yet another new problem. A first comeback of this Women’s World Cup will ensure Sarina Wiegman’s side return to Stadium Australia to play the hosts in Wednesday’s semi-final, in what is set to be the grandest occasion of this thrilling tournament so far.

England once more avoided becoming a surprise exit, as they began to show the sort of quality everyone has long expected in this tenacious 2-1 victory over Colombia.

The invigorating South American side deserve huge credit for bringing that out of the European champions, as they became the first side to take the lead against them at this World Cup. And there was so briefly the possibility they could put them out.

Something was different with this England, though, that could well be crucial against Australia. Alessia Russo almost summed it up by offering that huge moment: a fine finish to win it.

Miguel Delaney’s match report from Sydney:

Jamie Braidwood14 August 2023 08:01


Women’s World Cup

Australia Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Monday backed calls for a public holiday if its team win the Women’s World Cup.

The Matildas are through to the semi-finals of the tournament, which Australia is co-hosting with New Zealand, after a gripping penalty shootout win against France on Saturday, with goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold saving three spot-kicks after missing her own.

They play European champions England in Sydney on Wednesday in a match likely to smash Australian TV viewing figures for a soccer game.

“I’ve said that the state and territory leaders should consider it and I know that it’s received a pretty warm reception in most quarters,” Albanese said in a radio interview with state broadcaster ABC when asked if calls for a public holiday were justified.

“This is something much more than just a sporting event. This is an inspiration to young girls in particular, but also young boys.”

(Getty Images)

Jamie Braidwood14 August 2023 07:01


Who and when do England play next? Lionesses route to the World Cup final

England face Australia in the Women’s World Cup semi-finals as the Lionesses continue their knockout campaign in Sydney.

The European champions survived a major scare against Nigeria in the last-16, but improved to beat Columbia and will take on hosts Australia in the semi-finals.

Sarina Wiegman’s side will continue to be without Lauren James who was suspended for two matchesafter the 21-year-old stamped on the back of Nigeria’s Michelle Alozie.

The Lionesses will face Australia in Sydney after the co-hosts defeated France on penalties.

There will be a new winner of the Women’s World Cup this year after Sweden knocked out Japan on Friday, setting up a clash with Spain on the other side of the draw.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Lionesses’ next challenge in Australia:

Jamie Braidwood14 August 2023 06:01


Women’s World Cup

England held a training session yesterday ahead of Wednesday’s semi-final with Australia, with the 11 players who started against Colombia having the day off to recover.

Lauren James was involved in training, with England’s win in the quarter-finals now meaning that she will play again in the tournament, either in the final or in Saturday’s third-place playoff.

(The FA via Getty Images)

(The FA via Getty Images)

(The FA via Getty Images)

Jamie Braidwood14 August 2023 05:45


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