Not only England W have their spot in the semi-finals, they set some breaking records too – unlike their men counterpart
A major achievement for the England (women) squad headed by Phil Neville as they reached their third consecutive major tournament semi-finals after downing Norway 3-0 at the Women’s World Cup.
This was a record-breaking night for the team. It’s the first time that an England outfit have reached the final four of an international competition three times on the spin. The England (women) team have been semi-finalists at the 2015 World Cup and Euro 2017.
How many times have the England men squad reached the semi-finals – long pause. Once.
The Lionesses can boast to bring home their third semi-final but not just. Gill Scott stroked home the fastest goal the Lionesses have scored at any World Cup to get off to the perfect start.
To the UK’s squad delight, someone precious was watching their game very closely. It was an ex England player, not to mention super sexy bla bla bla David Bekcham with his daughter Harper. They couldn’t contain their joy over this win. Who blames them. One can only guess when England will be in the Men’s World Cup semi-final.
The game was of high level and both teams gave their heart.
The impressive Ellen White – the tournament’s joint-top goalscorer – tapped home a second before half-time before a rocket from right-back Lucy Bronze put the result beyond doubt.
Nikita Parris failed to convert an 83rd-minute penalty – her second miss of the tournament – after a fine diving save from Ingrid Hjelmseth but it didn’t dampen the mood as the English marched on.
Norway, despite being the 16th-best side in the Fifa rankings, are no pushovers and took out sixth-ranked Australia in the last-16, although they were without Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg.
It will be another step up in class for England – who were watched by men’s football hero David Beckham on Thursday night – against home favourites France or pre-tournament favourites USA, but Neville’s side will enter the match with confidence as they look to post their best World Cup result.
It was the perfect start for the Lionesses. Lucy Bronze’s cutback was completely missed by White but Scott was on hand to roll the ball into the bottom corner, scoring England’s fastest World Cup goal in the process.
When the lionesses dig in, they dig hard. White was literally inches away from adding a second for her side midway through the first half. A powerful drive from a cute ball over the top from Nikita Parris rattled against the post.
Both sides were evenly matched in the first period but it was England who moved two goals up, with White tapping in from five yards out after a squared ball from Parris.
From then on, England took control and were rewarded with a third courtesy of a thumping strike from Bronze from the edge of the area. Steph Houghton – a rock at the back as ever – terrifically cleared off the line after an error from Millie Bright was seized upon by substitute Lisa-Marie Karlseng Utland. Moments later, Karen Bardsley got a strong right hand down to deny Isabell Herlovsen. Maria Thorisdottir pushed Houghton in the back to hand England a penalty, but Parris was denied.
The game was watched by over 20,000 fans inside the Stade Oceane in the northeast coast city of Le Havre.