England beat Colombia to reach World Cup semi-finals with Alessia Russo the hero

England Lionesses booked their place in the Women’s World Cup semi-final after Alessia Russo’s 63rd minute goal gave them a 2-1 victory over Columbia. Sarina Wiegman’s side were forced to work hard for their last-four spot after Leicy Santos stunned England with her 44th minute opener which lopped goalkeeper Mary Earps.

The opening goal frustrated England coach Wiegman who accused her side of giving the ball away resulting in Santos jinking into the box and lopping her effort over the goalkeeper on 44 minutes. England were fortunate to have an equaliser in the sixth minute of first half injury time when goalkeeper Catalina Perez dropped the ball at the foot of Lauren Hemp.

Russo’s deflected effort looked to have been comfortably caught by the goalkeeper only for Hemp to be gifted the ball to prod into an empty net. England progressed thanks to Russo’s winner after the forward charged through onto a Georgia Stanway through ball before firing across goal and into the net.

Columbian teenager Linda Caicedo kept England on their toes and the Lionesses had to defend resolutely during the second half. Goalkeeper Earps played her part and was forced into a flying save to deny Lorena Bedoya’s effort. The Lionesses will face host nation Australia in the Women’s World Cup semi-final on Wednesday.


  • Russo nets for England12:57
  • Hemp gifted equaliser12:24
  • Leicy Santos puts Columbia ahead12:16
  • England team news10:16
  • Australia are next

    That’s all after an excellent performance from England puts them into the Women’s World Cup last four.

    England are back in action when they play host nation Australia on Wednesday.

    Ian Wright expresses love for Lauren Hemp

    Ian Wright asked for a hug from scorer Lauren Hemp after she netting the equaliser in England’s 2-1 victory over Columbia

    Thumbs up from coach Wiegman

    England head coach Sarina Wiegman gave her side the thumbs up as they booked their place in the Women’s World Cup semi-final

    Proud Lionesses coach wants side to keep ball better

    England head coach Sarina Wiegman felt that her side should have kept the ball better during their 2-1 victory against Columbia.

    Wiegman was proud at the way they stubbornly defended their one-goal advantage, but felt they could have made life easier for themselves after going behind.

    “It was a very tough challenge but we didn’t expect anything else,” said Wiegman talking to ITV.

    “We showed resilience, in the first half we played pretty good. What we wanted to do was find spaces, which we did.

    “At moments we were too sloppy on the ball and they were really dangerous on the counter-attack, so we conceded that goal.

    “Before half-time we came back. I thought the goalkeeper already had the ball, but then I saw it was in the goal. It was really alert of the team.

    “The second half, it was hard, they (Columbia) tried to push. We know they are very dangerous up front.

    “I’m so proud of the team, how we found a way to keep that score and to win them final duals.

    “If we had kept the ball a little better we could have finished it a little earlier.”

    Lots to work on ahead of Australia test, says Russo

    England’s match winner Alessia Russo says her side have lots to work on ahead of their Women’s World Cup semi-final match against host national Australia.

    Russo’s 63rd minute goal was enough for England to come from a goal down to beat Columbia 2-1.

    “I’m buzzing, to be in the semi-final of the World Cup we’re keeping that dream alive,” said Russo talking to ITV.

    “Columbia are a top team which they have shown during this World Cup. It was a really tough test, but we are so happy to be into the semi-finals.

    “We had to dig deep because they have so many talented players who can cause you trouble in a second. I thought our back-line was brilliant tonight.

    When asked what head coach Sarina Wiegman said after the match, Russo added : “She just said she is proud.

    “There’s lots to work on. That’s what makes this team brilliant is that we’re always trying to find ways to improve.

    England prove stubborn at both ends of pitch

    England were good value for their Women’s World Cup semi-final place after showing a ruthlessness going forward and stubbornness at the back against Columbia.

    Columbia’s opener could have stunned the Lionesses, but they came fighting back with a vital goal before the break.

    After Alessia Russo scored the winner it was a case of backs against the wall defending later on and the Lionesses came through

    Australia await Lionesses

    England players celebrate as Columbia drop to the floor as the Lionesses hold on to a 2-1 victory.

    Goals from Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo was enough to send England through in the Women’s World Cup last four.

    England will now play host nation Australia on Wednesday, while Spain play Sweeden in the other semi-final.

    Columbia go close late on

    90+7) Columbia have been guilty of not keeping calm as Ramirez rushed at her effort and fired wide as play opened up for her in added time.

    Moments later Caicedo also sent a lashed effort from outside the box off-target.


    England are through

    Second England change

    90+3) Bethany England makes her introduction with more fresh legs required for the Lionesses. England comes on for Hemp

    Eight minutes added on

    90+1) It’s going to be eight minutes of additional time as Columbia continue to test the England defence.

    The Lionesses are climbing over each other to get blocks in.

    Can England hang on?

    88) Nerves are being shredded in Sydney as Columbia are throwing everything at England in search of an equaliser.

    So far England have stood firm against the barrage of balls into and around the penalty area.

    Eng 2 Col 1

    Goal scorer Russo off

    85) Alessia Russo is making way for Chloe Kelly in England’s first change.

    It’s a case of bringing fresh legs on for the Lionesses against a tiring Columbia side.

    Eng 2 Col 1

    Columbia make second change

    77) Columbia are pushing forward searching for a way back into the game and have made their second change

    Garcia has come off for Chacon. The change comes just after Ramirez was only denied inside the England box by a fine Greenwood interception.

    Eng 2 Col 1

    Hemp turns provider for Russo

    73) Lauren Hemp almost provides England with a vital third goal.

    The pacy forward sprinted down the touchline before sending a searching ball for Russo only for the Columbian goalkeeper to come out and intercept the cross.

    Eng 2 Col 1

    Big save from England goalkeeper

    70) Mary Earps was not to be beaten for the second time from a long-range effort and is forced into making a flying stop to deny Bedoya

    Eng 2 Col 1

    Columbia forced to change goalkeeper

    67) Goalkeeper Perez looks dazed as she is assessed before being taken off and substituted by Giraldo

    Eng 2 Col 1

    Russo nets for England

    61) Alessia Russo charged through onto a Georgia Stanway through ball before firing across goal and into the net.

    Columbia were guilty of not closing down Stanway who picked out Russo with the England forward controlling the ball before firing across the goalkeeper from a tight angle

    Eng 2 Col 1

    Perez makes vital stop to deny England opening

    56) Alissia Russo is helping England to push forwards and earns a free-kick on the edge of the box in a shooting position.

    Stanway played it short to Hemp whose chip back across the box was clawed clear by goalkeeper Perez before being cleared.

    Daly sees header saved

    52) Rachel Daly rises highest to meet a Greenwood corner at the back post, but she struggles to get enough power and direction on her effort which sails into the hands of goalkeeper Perez.

    Eng 1 Col 1

    Ramirez fires wide

    46) Columbia’s number nine Mayra Ramirez had a sight at goal then inside the box.

    The Levante forward used her pace to create an opening but failed to trouble the England goal with her effort.

     Eng 1 Col 1

    Back underway

    We are back underway in the second half with England needing an improved second half display.

    No changes for either side at the break.

    Eng 1 Col 1

    Columbia’s opener felt familiar

    Mary Earps’ attempt at saving Leicy Santos opener will have felt familiar for football fans.

    Santos’ jinked her way into the box before looping the ball across Earps who was caught unexpected as the ball flew over her head.

    The gaffe mirrored David Seaman when the shot-stopper was lobbed by Ronaldinho in the 2002 Men’s World Cup.

    Read more…


    That equaliser came seconds before the half-time whistle and will change the feeling in the England camp at the break

    Eng 1 Col 1

    Hemp gifted equaliser

    45+6) England equalise after a ball inside the box is dropped by goalkeeper Catalina Perez and Lauren Hemp is alert to the error prodding the ball home.

    It was a goalkeeping error from Perez after Alessia Russo’s effort deflected off a defender into the goalkeeper’s arms.

    However, Perez was unable to keep hold of it instead gifting Hemp the equaliser.

    Eng 1 Col 1

    England react to opener

    45+4) After going behind England have been throwing bodies forward as they are into six minutes of first half stoppages

    Eng 0 Col 1

    Leicy Santos puts Columbia ahead

    44) Leicy Santos jinks her way on the edge of the box while being marked by Rachel Day. Santos creates space just inside the box before floating her effort across goal and over the top of the goalkeeper’s reach.

    Goalkeeper Earps was positioned for the cross and not expecting such a shot across goal.

    Caicedo chance

    37) Linda Caicedo has an opening for Columbia after England fail to clear the initial cross into the box.

    The young forward manages to get control of the ball before eventually seeing her effort at goal blocked.

    Eng 0 Col 0

    England stand firm

    32) Columbia respond to that England chance with some pressure of their own but Millie Bright and Rachel Greenwood have dealt with the pressure well so far with some good clearances

    Eng 0 Col 0

    Daly free header and effort

    26) England are starting to pass the ball around their South American opponents.

    The Lionesses force a corner which comes out to Georgia Stanway whose lofted ball finds Rachel Daly unmarked at the back post.

    However, her header lacks conviction and is straight at the goalkeeper. Moments later Daly sends a rifled effort just over with the goalkeeper struggling to meet her effort.

    Eng 0 Col 0

    Hemp gets bodychecked

    19) Hemp is shown the physical approach that England were warned about as substitute Guzmán bodychecks her

    Eng 0 Col 0

    Caicedo causes England problems

    15) Teenager Linda Caicedo has just shown a flash of what she can do, sprinting into the England half before turning past her marker and steering her effort wide of the post.

    Eng 0 Col 0

    Columbia change

    11) Just before that chance Columbia were forced into an early change as Arias comes off injured and is replaced by Guzman.

    Eng 0 Col 0

    Russo header

    11) Alessia Russo rises highest to meet a cross, but this time her header is straight at the goalkeeper and her effort is easily saved.

    Eng 0 Col 0

    Russo chance

    6) England have the first opening on six minutes as quick work results in a cross finding Alessia Russo whose header is blocked.

    The rebound falls down to Lauren Hemp but the Columbia goalkeeper and defenders throw their bodies at the ball to block the effort. The off-side flag was up, but a clear chance for England so early in the match.

    Eng 0 Col 0

    We are underway

    The quarter final between England and Columbia has got underway.

    Both sides have made just one change from their last-16 matches as they hope to book a semi-final date with Australia on Wednesday.

    National anthems

    Both sides are out and England are first with the national anthems cheered by fans inside Stadium Australia draped in flags.

    A huge roar goes up for the Columbian national anthem which is passionately sung by their players.

    Columbia fans out in force

    Columbia fans will be right behind their side in Sydney tonight with vocal support from their own fans and the Australian locals.

    Stadium Australia has a capacity of 80,000.

    England prepare for last eight showdown

    With just 15 minutes until kick-off the crowd is building nicely in Sydney with a big Columbia following hoping their side can contain the European champions.

    England are expecting to come up against a tight marking system similar to the one Nigeria had success against them with.

    Wiegman expects physical test against Columbia

    England head coach Sarina Wiegman says she is expecting a tough test against an ‘unpredictable’ Columbia side.

    The South Americans are in the quarter final for the first time in their history.

    “Colombia has done very well, they’re a strong team,” said Wiegman.

    “They’re very together. We see they’re physically strong with some powerful players and want to get the ball to their attacking players because they’re unpredictable.

    “We’re not making a plan of surprising Colombia, we’re making our football plan. We have our style of play and also the analysis of Colombia, from there we make our plan and try to execute it.”

    Australia are through

    After an epic penalty shootout competition Australia are into the Women’s World Cup semi-final after coming through 7-6 on penalties.

    Cortnee Vine scored the winning penalty for Australia after Vicki Becho hit the post for France after the game ended 0-0 after extra-time.

    Australia will now face England or Columbia in the last four.

    Both goalkeepers make penalty saves

    After missing a penalty herself Mackenzie Arnold saved a penalty for Australia, only for the referee to order the spot kick to be retaken.

    Arnold again leaped off her line before making the save again to deny Kenza Dali. Hunt had the chance to win the shootout for Australia only to see her penalty also saved.

    The winner of the France v Australia match will play England or Columbia

    Australia penalties continue

    France and Australia are deep into an enthralling penalty shootout competition.

    Australian goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold had the chance to win the penalty shootout for Australia but hit the post.

    Penalties for Australia v France

    Nothing could separate Australia and France in their quarter final match with the tie to be decided on penalties.

    France made the controversial move to substitute their goalkeeper ahead of the shootout. The winners will face either England or Columbia in the semi-final.

    How Columbia line-up

    Columbia will be looking towards their teenage sensation Linda Caicedo to give them a boost against England.

    The 18-year-old forward plays her domestic football for Real Madrid.

    Colombia: Perez, C Arias, D Arias, Carabali, Vanegas, Ospina, Bedoya, Santos, Usme, Caicedo, Ramirez.

    Subs: Sepulveda, Giraldo, Caracas, Guzman, Ramos, Baron, Montoya, Reyes, Restrepo, Chacon, Andrade, Bahr

    England team news

    England have made one change from the side which beat Nigeria on penalties.

    Ella Toone has come in for the suspended Lauren James, while otherwise England are unchanged.

    England: Earps, Bronze, Greenwood, Bright, Carter, Daly, Walsh, Stanway, Toone, Hemp, Russo.

    Subs: Hampton, Roebuck, Charles, Wubben-Moy, Zelem, Robinson, Nobbs, Cooms, Kelly, Morgan.

    Who will make the last four?

    The winner of England v Columbia will face the victor of Australia v France. Home nation Australia have never reached the semi final of the World Cup and are currently drawing 0-0 with France.

    Their quarter-final match has gone into extra-time which will be welcome news for both England and Columbia ahead of Wednesday’s semi-final.


    Welcome to our live coverage of England’s Women’s World Cup quarter final match against Colombia.

    It’s a big day for Sarina Wiegman’s side and they will have to overcome a stern test to book their place in the last four.

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