The World Cup final will repeat one of the quarterfinals of the last European Championship. Spain will have the option of taking revenge on England in the most pomegranate scenario after last year the lionesses, a true social phenomenon on the other side of the Channel, left them behind after a toss-up extension to walk towards the European championship. . From the scepter, devoid of the pressure of having trodden a summit, with the conviction of someone who feels like a winner, England once again challenges Spain after leaving behind (1-3), with solvency, the enthusiastic and competitive Australia in the second semifinal of a World Cup that is already unforgettable for Spanish football and that on Sunday could become eternal.
Mackenzie Arnold, Clare Polkinghorne, Steph Catley, Ellie Carpenter, Clare Hunt, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Hayley Raso, Caitlin Foord, Katrina Gorry, Sam Kerr y Mary Fowler
Mary Earps, Alex Greenwood, Jess Carter, Millie Bright, Georgia Stanway, Keira Walsh, Lucy Bronze, Rachel Daly, Alessia Russo, Ella Toone y Lauren Hemp
Goles 0-1 min. 36: Ella Toone. 1-1 min. 62: Sam Kerr. 1-2 min. 70: Lauren Hemp. 1-3 min. 86: Alessia Russo.
Referee Tori Penso
Yellow cards Alex Greenwood (min. 10) and Chloe Kelly (min. 94)
In the final and against the best. Because England is today number 1, the one that chooses to form a dynasty that resembles the one that Germany held in the first decade of this century. Australia was beaten, in Sydney, by football and by arrests. First he controlled the game, he patiently took it to his ground to get ahead on the scoreboard and manage an advantage that did not seem to be in danger, an always wrong thought when there is an Australian rival ahead, athletes with a competitive gene that is a hallmark. The hosts took advantage of a slight loophole to fully enter the game, tie and put the English on the ropes, who nevertheless reacted with greatness. They rose to command again and knew how to clench their teeth to withstand the latest local attacks and rule on the time. The celebration was less emotional than that of Spain: the English have known since they reached the antipodes that the job will only be done if they return with the Cup.
The semifinal was settled in the last third of the frantic game. Before that, there was a battle of attrition in which England took control to move a rival with worse footballers, but no less expert for that. The Australians formed an eleven in which only one player remains in the domestic competition. The rest evolve in the Swedish league and, above all, in the English one. Among them the phenomenal Sam Kerr, the beacon of his team to run into space and turn any type of control into an exercise in which it is necessary to pay attention to the rearview mirror. England dealt with that threat on the counter, but had the character to impose their game and string together goals. Stamway, a comer, demanded home keeper Arnold soon after starting. Russo tuned in with a shot into the side of the net. And finally, after half an hour, Ella Toone cleared one of the Australian goal squads with a shot that rewarded the English display. The goal portrayed the control of the team led by the laureate Sarina Wiegman: a throw-in brought the ball to the end line and from there a fire was generated at the top of the area for Toone to define with precision.
Up until then Australia had brought little fervor to the match, carried away by an electrifying atmosphere that pushed them to give even more than one hundred per cent. He ended up reaching that point, reaching an equalizer almost from nowhere, after a recovery in the defensive zone turned into a couple of touches on a ball for Kerr with a large estate ahead. The Chelsea striker, strong, determined and talented, drove the ball thirty yards before unleashing a shot from just beyond the edge. Impossible for the stuffy Mary Earps.
The stupor that England could feel after the blow, the courage or the drive that Australia took after such a knock, were sensations that dissipated as soon as the lionesses returned to collect passes, always with Keira Walsh in command of operations, but also with a troop of excellent warriors who combine class and combativeness. Stamway, Toone and Hemp got together and Russo sent a warning with a header in which he got ahead of the two center backs. Australia paled and began to fall when Ellie Carpenter, Lyon’s right-back, bounced up to three times a diagonal that sought Hemp from behind. The Manchester City forward was more determined, she found the ball and put it into the net.
Nothing was finished. Australia had a closet bottom. His coach withdrew a center back to nurture the axis of attack with Van Egmond, a burly forward who freed Kerr from dirty work. Up to three times he was able to return the tie to the scoreboard. Kerr’s last option, after a rejection that left him with a volley on the edge of the small area, was obvious. There came a definitive counter in which Lauren Hemp dressed in Michael Laudrup’s tailcoat to sign a no-look pass and leave Russo the fountain pen to sign the sentence.
Until then Wiegman had not made any changes. With a defined eleven and a mature team, England, the European champion, reached the final. But in front of him, on Sunday and again in Sydney, he will have a rival who has already proven to be up to his standards and who already knows that the difference between victory and defeat lies in not giving up. And Spain has not conjugated that verb for a long time.
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