Plenty of action, exciting matches played and history made by many – what a world cup it’s been. Hosted by Australia and New Zealand the tournament kicked off on the 20th July 2023 with two games featuring both hosts, New Zealand vs Norway and Australia vs Republic of Ireland. They both won their games 1-0 and paved the way for an entertaining tournament of football.
The Lionesses proved that they were a force to be reckoned with as they successfully made it to the final having won all their previous matches. Let’s look at how they got on.
England’s world cup journey got off to a successful start when they beat Haiti 1–0 in their first game of the group stages. Goal scorer Georgia Stanway kicked off what would be England’s goal scoring run to the final. The team then went on to win against Denmark (1–0) and China PR (6-1), which was the Lionesses biggest win of the tournament.
England progressed through to the last 16 as Group D winners and played Group B runners up Nigeria, who shocked Australia by beating them 3–2 in the group stages. A tough game for both teams as full time ended at 0–0 meaning it was time for penalties. In the end it was Chloe Kelly who scored the winning penalty and what a penalty it was, recorded at 110.79 km/h it went on to beat the most powerful strike in the 2022/23 Premier League season and put England through to the Quarter finals.
On the 12th August the Lionesses took on Columbia in the Quarter finals. Columbia took the lead in the first half, but England came fighting back and Lauren Hemp scored just before the end of half time to keep England in the game. It was Alessia Russo who scored in the 63rd minute that would guarantee England’s place in the semi – final.
England were just one game away from reaching their first world cup final, but they would need to get past hosts Australia to do so. England proved they were ready for the final when after 36 minutes Ella Toone put the ball in the back of the net to give England the lead. It wouldn’t be long until Australia began to catch up when Sam Kerr leveled the game to make it 1-1. But in the end, it would be England’s top goal scorer Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo who put England in front at 3-1 and straight through to the World Cup final.
Sunday 20th August 2023, the stage is set at Stadium Australia, a record crowd of over 75,000 spectators in the stadium and millions of people at home waiting for the England vs Spain final, which would be a first for both teams. Spain were a tough opponent, especially after their thrilling win against Sweden in the semi – final where there were three goals in the final 10 minutes of the game. Despite a superb penalty save from Mary Earps to keep England in the game it just wasn’t meant to be England’s year as Spain went on to win 1–0 and the World Cup.
Despite England’s loss, the team certainly proved to be one of the best teams in the world. To top off the Lionesses’ fantastic world cup campaign, goalkeeper Mary Earps was recognised for her outstanding talent and won the Golden Glove Award having played all seven matches and conceding only four goals.
Congratulations to Spain who played a fantastic game and proved to all that they are worthy world champions.
What a tournament for the Lionesses, this past month they have certainly shown the world what they’re made of. Sarina’s Lionesses played their hearts out and made the whole country proud of their world cup campaign.