Man United and City stars shine as Lionesses go through to the 2023 Women’s World Cup final for the first time ever
It's happening. We can feel it.
The Lionesses are through to the 2023 Women’s World Cup final for the first time in history after beating Australia 3-1 in a stressful but stunning semi-final performance.
Both England’s women’s team and the Aussies impressed in both halves, seeing out what was a tightly-contested opening half-hour, in particular, before Manchester United‘s Ella Toone unleashed an absolute rocket of a shot to take the lead in the 36th minute.
While Toone had been somewhat quiet in the tournament up until this point — the usually prolific attacking midfielder scoring twice at the Euros and grabbing a handful of goal contributions in the Women’s Super League last season — she quickly silenced any doubters with this emphatic finish.
Have a bit of that.
However, given how hard they fought in the opening 45, Sarina Wiegman‘s side were never going to have it easy and after both teams were guilty of struggling to put together prolonged periods of passing, Australia came out of the traps in the second half.
Scrapping tooth and nail for every ball, it was always going to take a real moment of quality to shake England‘s rhythm and confidence and that’s exactly what happened.
The equaliser came from the Socceroo’s star forward and one of the best players in the women’s game, Sam Kerr, who buried just as good a finish if not even better, leaving the Lionesses in need of a big reaction.
But, just as we knew they would, the girls didn’t disappoint and just eight minutes after Kerr levelled things up, Manchester City star and arguably England women’s MVP this tournament, Lauren Hemp, restored their lead by chasing down two Australia defenders and managing to get a shot off. Persistence.
A ridiculously huge goal.
But they didn’t stop there…
As those watching in the ground at home nervously prayed for them to hang on to the narrow lead, former United star Alessia Russo polished things off with a fine third in the 86th minute to secure the win for the Lionesses against the host nation.
We could cry.
- Alty FC receive £1.5m cash injection as 20 new investors back the club
- Manchester Originals’ Fi Morris breaks Hundred record with ‘five-fer’ at Old Trafford
- Kevin de Bruyne is set to be out injured for up to four months
And that’s it: the England women’s team are through to their first-ever World Cup final. Massive.
With Sweden having been beaten 2-1 in the other semi-final on Tuesday, the Lionesses will now play Spain for their chance to lift the Women’s World Cup and further cement themselves in football immortality.
European and World Champions, all within just over a year — sounds alright, doesn’t it?
Come on, just one more game to go. It’s coming home.
For all the latest news, events and goings on in Greater Manchester, subscribe to The Manc newsletter HERE.
Featured Image — Lionesses (via Twitter)