World Cup 2023 - Australia falls as England sets up all-Euro final with Spain
Australia has fallen to England in the semi-final of the FIFA Women's World Cup.
England has beaten Australia 3-1 in the semi-final of the FIFA Women's World Cup to set up a glamour all-Euro match up against Spain. Australia's coach, Tony Gustavvson pulled all the stops as he opted to start Captain Sam Kerr for the first time in the tournament following her recovery from a calf injury, however there was changes at the back as Alanna Kennedy was ruled out with illness. For England they went into the game without star Lauren James but it didn't seem to worry the side as they started in a bright fashion. English mid-fielder Georgia Stanway sent a scare through the Australians early as she beat the off-side trap to force a top save from Australian keeper, Mackenzie Arnold. England would dominate the first half but it wasn't without chances for the Australians. However, England's Ella Toone was the first to capitalise from the pressure as Australia's defence crumbled. England's Lauren Hemp persisted to find Alessia Russo, who's ball found Toone. The first time, angled strike beating the Australian keeper to find the top right corner.
While England went into the break with the slender advantage, the Australians needed to dig deep. Though it was again England who started the brighter in the second half as Lauren Hemp again troubled Australian keeper Mackenzie Arnold. With Australia chasing the game, it would be up to Sam Kerr to rescue the Australians as they broke on the counter-attack to stun the English defence. Kerr set up a driving run before hitting spectacularly from distance to send the 75,000 pro-Australian crowd into euphoria.
However it wasn't to last for the brave Matildas as a defensive mix-up saw Lauren Hemp provail to put England ahead once more. Alessia Russo put the cherry on the cake for England in the 85th minute as a deft pass caught the Australians on the hop for Russo to finish past a stretching Mackenzie Arnold. England will now go on to play Spain in the final on Sunday while for Australia they'll have a chance to restore their pride when they take on Sweden in the third place play-off.