England overpowers Australia for final berth

Edwin  - CEO August 16, 2023
Updated 2023/08/20 at 8:26 PM
14 Min Read
Alessia Mia Teresa Russo rejoices having helped England to qualify for a first ever World Cup final after defeating co-hosts Australia 3-1 in Sydney/Credit: Getty Images

Matildas fall short of reaching the Women’s World Cup final game after losing 1-3 to the Lionesses


England v Australia at FIFA Women's World Cup 2023: Discover their head-to-head record

Samantha May Kerr OAM enroute to scoring her wonder goal of the tournament in Matildas’ 1-3 loss to England at the Stadium Australia on Wednesday


By Ed Emeanua





England’s starting XI: Earps (goalkeeper), Bronze, Carter, Bright, Greenwood, Daly, Walsh, Stanway, Toone, Hemp, Russo



Australia’s starting XI: Arnold (goalkeeper), Carpenter, Hunt, Polkinghorne, Catley, Raso, Gorry, Cooney-Cross, Foord, Fowler, Kerr


FIFA Women’s World Cup co-hosts Australia failed to bestride a surge of Women’s World Cup intensity after falling to rivals England 1-3 in their semifinal game at Stadium Australia, in Sydney on Wednesday.


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England now advances to their first ever final of the FIFA championship which will take place on Sunday when they will clash with Spain for the main prize of the championship.


Australia prevailed to the semifinal for the first time following victory over France in a thrilling penalty shootout, while England notched third shot of making the final following their overpowering of Colombia 2-1 in the last eight.


The Matildas could become the third hosts to win this tournament after the USA in 1999 and their first round of last two qualification equaled USA’s records of 1999 and 2003 for a host nation reaching the semifinal.


The Matildas were clearly bullied out of making the final match by the Lionesses silencing the nationalistic fervor of an expectant nation three times with goals from the boots of Ella Toone (36′), Lauren Hemp (71), and Alessia Russo (86).


Three times, Matilda switched off completely and three times, the Lionesses made them pay. But the highlight of the game was Sam Kerr’s 63′ goal of the tournament which captivated the soccer world and ignited some hope in the Matildas.


It was also the 64th goal of the illustrious career of Matildas star woman and gave credence to the special qualities of the Australian captain.


The Chelsea striker had been in scintillating form this past season, finding the net 29 times in 38 appearances for the Blues, but missed the group stage of the tournament due to a calf injury.


Her being named in the starting XI, increased the hopes of Australia fans over the chances of Matildas progress even more.


Toone began the Lionesses precise mission for a peculiarly smashup of the hope of the Aussie nation with her 36th minute strike.


Hemp did exceptionally well near the byline, before hooking the ball into the danger zone, Australia failed to clear the danger, and Toone thrusts the ball from 10m out, sending it with precision at ferocious pace into the top corner of the net for England’s first goal of the match.



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England’s Ella Toone, 10, scores their first goal [Jaimi Joy/Reuters]


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England’s Ella Toone celebrates scoring their first goal with her teammates [Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/Reuters]


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England’s Lauren Hemp in action [Hannah Mckay/Reuters]


Before Toone’s opening strike, Matildas’ Hayley Raso intercepted a cross on the right side in the 33rd minute before setting off a counter attack. She located Carpenter to her right, who then squared in a cross to the box after running out of space. Strangely, her delivery was allowed to go to waste, and England are saved from what could have been an embarrassing situation.


As if out of character, the Australians switched off allowing England’s Toone to score three minutes later.


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Australia’s Hayley Raso makes an attempt to score [Alessandra Tarantino/AP Photo]


England held on to their 1-0 lead into the break, and it was deservedly so based on the balance of play, having moved the ball with better fluidity and enjoying far more control than the co-hosts, especially following Toone’s crisp opening goal. So far, Matildas have created chances, but have failed to get Kerr into the groove at and present a rather too passive appearance.


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England’s Lauren Hemp heads the ball [Hannah Mckay/Reuters]


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England’s Lucy Bronze in action with Australia’s Caitlin Foord [Carl Recine/Reuters]


That sprint in the Matildas game did arrive in the 63rd minute but their talismanic star had to do it all by herself. From nowhere and out of sheer nothing, Australia find themselves on level terms with the Lionesses, as Kerr drove deep at the center of the England defense before scuttling her powerful shot into the top corner of the net, leaving Earps in goal for England simply hopeless. Again, Stadium Australia erupts in salute to a splendid goal from their outstanding star.


The build up to the goal is revelation that Matildas can do it if only they put their minds to it. Kerr’s goal has sent Australian fans into ecstasy. Her effort was simply a phenomenal goal from distance.

The Chelsea forward was sent scuttling towards the England goalposts after being freed just after the halfway line with a sublime pass.

She then drove through powerfully towards goal, and with her marker closing in, Kerr hit an unbelievable shot from outside the box which beats Earps all ends up.


This goal could easily be the goal of the tournament given the circumstances and occasion. This Lady is exceptional! This is a phenom of a star! Give it up for Sam Kerr! What a goooooolazooooo!


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Australia’s Sam Kerr scores their first and only goal [Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/Reuters]


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Australia’s Sam Kerr celebrates scoring their first goal [Amanda Perobelli/Reuters]



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Australia’s Mary Fowler shoots at goal [Jaimi Joy/Reuters]
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Australia’s Mackenzie Arnold in action [Hannah McKay/Reuters]
When Australia needed her most, Matildas’ captain has yet again, stood up for the nation, massively lifting up the atmosphere at Stadium Australia.
Kerr’s goal has reset the game, but Australia’s Matildas though not still at their best, but are at least on the level with the opponent, which of the teams will push on to win the match from here on is left to providence and the side that can find the gusto to push ahead, to decide.

Out of nowhere, Kerr has been playing like the superstar she is. In the 70th minute, Australia won a corner on the left side that Cooney-Cross sends in with a lovely curving effort, which forces Earps to punch away at the far post.


The Matildas picked up the ball again with a cross issued into the box. The ball found Kerr on the end of it but the talismanic forward failed to get in the needed power into her shot to trouble the England keeper.


The atmosphere in the stadium has changed completely, and Australian fans now believe they can go all the way.

However, soon after the 70th minute, it was apparent that the Lionesses were the more of the two sides with the required determination to gatecrash into the final. Russo almost puts England ahead again, but her header flew wide of the target.
In just another minute, the Matildas are again caught snoozing after another brief spell on the back foot as England edges ahead. It was as before, another major howler by the Aussie rear line.
England's Lauren Hemp scores
England’s Lauren Hemp scores their second goal [Carl Recine/Reuters]
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England’s Lauren Hemp celebrates scoring their second goal [Carl Recine/Reuters]

Carpenter makes a poor effort of shielding the ball and is bullied off it by Hemp who then sliced it past a jaded Arnold in goal for the Matildas. England 2-1 Australia.
This Australia charade is a perfect example of how not to be a timid co-host of the planet’s most glamorous sporting festival.
The Matildas’ bloodless approaches in this tie will become a demonstration for future hosts of any sporting event on how not to allow all your hard work and investments vaporize into a smoke of nothingness.
Even Kerr cannot hide her shock over her teammates’ sheer lack of self-belief and motivation as she stood in the center of the field in utmost disbelief of the massive charade on exhibition by the Matildas’ defense line.
What a sight for sore eyes! A national consternation for Another sold out crowd of 75,784 at Stadium Australia.
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England’s Georgia Stanway in action with Australia’s Caitlin Foord [Carl Recine/Reuters]
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England’s Millie Bright heads the ball [Saeed Khan/AFP]
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Australia’s Emily van Egmond comes on as a substitute to replace Clare Polkinghorne [Hannah McKay/Reuters]

Hemp has silenced Stadium Australia with a goal that materialized out of a massive defensive blunder. A long ball from Millie Bright bounces harmlessly towards the Australian backline.


Hemp arrived in tandem with the ball having perfectly timed her run and dislodged the ball away from an undecided Carpenter, before turning quickly and firing a ground shot towards the far post from the left side of the box which completely left Arnold on wrong footing.


In the 84th minute, Matildas got what was arguably their best chance in the entire encounter when Cortnee Vine picked up the ball just inside the box on the right side.


She then fired in a shot towards the far post, with Earps just doing enough to get a hand on it.


The rebound landed in the path of the arriving Emily van Egmond, whose marker made it to the ball before her and just in the nick of time.


Two minutes later, it was Kerr who was scuffing a glorious chance to level up for the Matildas. Australia won a corner kick on their right side of the field.


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Australia’s Sam Kerr reacts after a missed chance to score [Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/Reuters]


The delivery arrived with the crossed effort pinballing between the players in the penalty area before landing perfectly for Kerr, who tried to volley the effort to the top corner of the near post, but just misses her mark.


A minute later, England again teaches Australia a lesson in clinical finishing, allowing Russo to hand England one more foot in the World Cup final on Sunday against Spain.


Russo is located on the right side of the field by Hemp following a counter attack from an earlier corner kick by Australia.



She then struck a wonderful effort towards the far post which eludes Arnold’s save. The Australian backline have done it once again by letting the rest of the units of the team down when it most mattered. It is England now 3-1 up.


The Australian players look downcast and out as their World Cup hopes look done and dusted. And it is just as well.


Though it was indeed a very difficult night for Matildas and least of all the type of delivery they expected put on the showcase, Australia should be take enough satisfaction out of their achievement and the unity they have harnessed for the country.

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