England advances to semis of FIFA Women's World Cup, crushing Colombian hopestext_fields
Sydney: Leicy Santos's miraculous goal for Colombia proved insufficient, as England rallied for a 2-1 victory here on Saturday, setting up a clash with Australia in the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup semifinals.
In all six of their appearances in the Women's World Cup, England has advanced to the quarterfinals after narrowly defeating Nigeria on penalties in the Round of 16.
The Lionesses were seeking to reach the semifinals for the third edition in a row, after defeating Canada 2-1 in the quarterfinals in 2015 and winning 3-0 against Norway at this stage in 2019, reports Xinhua.
Having beaten Jamaica 1-0, Colombia reached the Women's World Cup quarterfinals for the first time, becoming just the second South American side to achieve this feat alongside Brazil.
Lauren James started a two-match ban due to her red card in the Nigeria game, with Ella Toone getting the nod in the starting line-up, while Colombia's Manuela Vanegas returned to action after her suspension.
Colombia was dealt a blow just 10 minutes into the game as Carolina Arias had to be replaced due to an injury, making way for Ana Guzman.
In an open game, both sides created chances, as Linda Caicedo blasted wide after a mazy run, while Rachel Daly headed straight at Catalina Perez before a second attempt went inches over the bar.
The first half culminated with Colombia tipping the balance brilliantly, as Santos gathered from Caicedo, before taking a few touches to unleash a curler that went over keeper Mary Earps and dipped into the England net.
England got back on level terms on the stroke of half-time, as Perez surprisingly slipped an easy save out of her hands, allowing Lauren Hemp to bundle the ball over the line.
The European champions turned around the game in the 63rd minute as Alessia Russo ran onto Georgia Stanway's through-ball and beat Perez in a one-on-one.
Colombia was forced to make another substitute as the injured Perez was replaced by Natalia Giraldo. The South American side tested Earps in the 71st minute, but Lorena Bedoya's rocket was punched away. In a desperate bid for a miracle, Colombia staged waves of attacks, but England defended stoutly and held on until the final whistle.
England would now play Australia in Sydney in the semifinals after the tournament co-hosts eliminated France after a thrilling penalty shootout.
With IANS inputs