England book semi-final with co-hosts Australia


Lauren Hemp of England and Lorena Bedoya Durango of Colombia compete for the ball during the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Quarter Final match between England and Colombia at Stadium Australia on August 12, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. 

England set up a Women's World Cup semi-final with co-hosts Australia as they came from behind against a dangerous Colombia side.

The European champions, favourites to go all the way in Australia, have not played their best football in the tournament but this was a much more rounded display in front of a hostile crowd in Sydney.

Largely composed in defence and hard-working in attack, the Lionesses were rewarded with two slices of luck which they capitalised on, after goalkeeper Mary Earps had been beaten by a quick-thinking lob in the first half.

Lauren Hemp poked in the equaliser, just seven minutes after Leicy Santos had caught out Earps, when Colombia goalkeeper Catalina Perez spilled a routine gather in the six-yard area under pressure from Alessia Russo.

Arsenal striker Russo, who had only scored once in four World Cup matches prior to Saturday's quarter-final, worked tirelessly out of possession, earning her opportunity when she pounced on a kind deflection to drill in England's second.

Earps was called into action later, tipping Lorena Durango Bedoya's effort over the bar, while England were put under further pressure by Colombia's talented attacking line-up, which included Real Madrid's teenage sensation Linda Caicedo.

The Lionesses, who had to deal with a crowd of 75,784 who were largely backing Colombia, face co-hosts Australia next on 16 August at 11:00 BST, live on BBC.

It will be the Lionesses' third straight World Cup semi-final after defeats by the USA in 2019 and Japan in 2015.

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