England registered their third straight win in Group D of the FIFA Women’s World Cup after defeating China 6-1, eliminating the Steel Roses from the tournament. In the other Group D match in Perth, Denmark defeated Haiti 2-0, securing a spot in the round of 16 as the group runners-up.
Before the final round matches, England led Group D with six points, while both China and Denmark trailed with three points each. Due to the absence of key midfielder Keira Walsh due to injury, England’s head coach, Sarina Wiegman, made a tactical change, adopting a new 3-4-3 formation instead of the usual 4-3-3. China’s star forward Wang Shuang who was benched in the first two matches started in the first XI.
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Coach Wiegman appeared pleased with her team’s execution of the new formation and their ability to adapt to different strategies. England dominated the match from the start with high possession and pressing. This led to an early goal by Alessia Russo in the fourth minute. Lauren James then provided two goals and three assists, helping England secure a comfortable lead by half-time.
In the second half, China were aggressive in their gameplay and scored a penalty through Wang Shuang. This came after Lucy Bronze’s handball foul in the box. However, Lauren James continued her outstanding performance, scoring another goal to dash any hopes of a comeback for China.
The 6-1 win ensured England’s progress to the round of 16, where they will take on Nigeria. Meanwhile, the group runners-up Denmark will take on hosts Australia. For China, it marks the first time they have been eliminated in the group stage in eight Women’s World Cup appearances.