Hemp-Inspired England Reach World Cup Final With Brilliant Victory Over Australia

The Lionesses will face Spain after a brilliant 3-1 win in Sydney
12:53, 16 Aug 2023

England have reached their first ever Women’s World Cup final after goals from Ella Toone, Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo took the Lionesses past co-hosts Australia in an absorbing 3-1 semi-final win at Sydney’s Accor Stadium.

Toone’s arrowed effort from an Alessia Russo cut-back gave England the lead in a magnificent contest but Sam Kerr’s long-range piledriver brought the scores level. But it was then Hemp who reacted quickest to Millie Bright’s rangefinder and then teed up Russo for the clincher four minutes from time.

Sarina Wiegman’s side will now face Spain in Sunday’s final – the first time any England senior side has played in a World Cup final since the infamous men’s success of 1966.


In a truly mesmeric clash, the Matildas pushed England all the way in a ding-dong contest which had the Lionesses living on their nerve-ends for the majority of the match.

England were the team with the greater possession from the off, and they got their just rewards 36 minutes in.

Toone caught the ball brilliantly on the outside of her right foot to slash her shot high into the top corner of the net after Russo brilliantly took down Hemp’s lofted pass on the bye-line before cutting back for her best friend and former Manchester United team-mate.

In opening the scoring, Toone became the first England player ever to record goals in quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final of major championships following her exploits at Euro 2022.

Australia then had their best period of the match as they looked to find an immediate reply but they had to wait until the 63rd minute for their equaliser after the breakdown of an England attack.

Russo wanted too long to turn on the ball midway into the Matildas’ half, and when the Arsenal forward was dispossessed, Australia quickly played it up to Kerr. The superstar striker’s long-range drive took the slightest of flicks off Millie Bright and escaped the dive of Earps before finding the back of the net.

England responded within eight minutes. A second long, accurate lofted pass in quick succession from Bright caused havoc in the home side’s backline, and when Ellie Carpenter hesitated, Hemp stole in to fire past the despairing Mackenzie Arnold.

And just as the Matildas began to build pressure in the final moments it was Hemp again who played a major part in the Lionesses clinching their passage. The Manchester City winger drove forward through the middle then supplied a fantastic reverse pass for Russo to drive the ball across Arnold.

The ripple of the net sent England into ecstasy, and they are now within 90 minutes of emulating the ‘Boys of ‘66’ as the nation’s second ever world champions at senior level.


*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject to Change

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