Phil Neville’s Lionesses are through to the world cup semi-finals after an impressive 3-0 thrashing of Norway last night
With Three Lions on their shirts, this England team are following on from the heroics of the men’s team last year and will hope to go one better and reach the final on the 7th July. Confidence is growing in every match and the team are looking slicker with each passing game.
On the night, Jill Scott scored within three minutes of the kick-off and England doubled their lead just before half time when Ellen White scored her fifth goal of the tournament, and became England’s record scorer for a single World Cup. Lucy Bronze added a third from 25 yards in the 56th minute to effectively settle the tie.
Lucy Bronze has grown in stature throughout this tournament, tipped to be the best right-back in the world before the tournament she is showing just that with some incredible performances, including last night’s thunderbolt and a further assist.
It was a night of broken records, with Jill Scott’s opener the fastest goal ever scored by the Lionesses at a World Cup; she also became only the second ever English player to score in four consecutive World Cup games after Gary Lineker in 1986 and 1990.
Phil Neville, the Lionesses manager said that the performance and victory was one of his “proudest moments”, in football. In the after match press conference he said: “I thought we played no different than we did in the previous games, we were just more ruthless.” He will no doubt hope that this newly found ruthlessness will help them past either France or USA in the semi-final next Tuesday.
The USA are still outright favourites for the tournament, while France, the host nation, are second favourites at this time. The Lionesses will have to beat one of these teams on their way to winning their first-ever Women’s World Cup and will be hoping that the momentum they have started to gain follows through against either team. France meet the United States this evening at 8pm.
The other semi-final will be between either Italy and the Netherlands, who play in tomorrow’s early afternoon game, and Germany or Sweden, who meet in the later afternoon game. If England makes it past France or the USA they will have to be considered favourites for the tournament.
With such a good showing in the World Cup, the popularity of women’s football is due to soar even more in the coming years. Phil Neville has said that, “we want to inspire and to build a legacy”, and he is keeping to his word, bringing interest in women’s football to the forefront of people’s minds. If they make it to the final it could inspire scene’s in parks, stadiums and pubs up and down the country similar to last year’s men’s World Cup.
Famous faces were in attendance last night including, David Beckham, Ian Wright and Katherine Grainger, who are all getting behind the Lionesses who are now only two games away from being World Champions.
The semi-final will be live on the BBC on Tuesday 2nd of July.
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