Lauren Hemp sees England through to FIFA Women’s World Cup final

Lauren Hemp was the star of the show as England overpowered Australia 3-1 in their FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinal. Following Sam Kerr’s equaliser, Hemp quickly restored England’s lead with a goal. She later provided a well timed pass that sealed their place in the championship game with a 3-1 win over Australia.

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This result marked the end of a captivating Matildas run that caught the attention of Australia for almost a month. Meanwhile, England have advanced to a final showdown with Spain. The Lionesses now have a chance to secure a World Cup victory on home soil for the first time since 1966.

Sarina Wiegman made history as the first coach to lead two countries to back-to-back Women’s World Cup finals. Having previously guided the Netherlands to the European title in 2017, Wiegman then achieved a breakthrough Euro 2022 victory with the England squad.

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During the first half, England dominated possession, thwarting Australia’s transitional counter-attacking game and starving them of the ball. The strategy worked out well as Ella Toone found the net in the 36th minute. She received a pass from Hemp that was redirected by Alessia Russo.

Kerr, overcoming a left calf injury, made her first starting appearance in the tournament for Australia. Her goal in the 63rd minute renewed hopes, but Hemp responded swiftly with a goal of her own in the 71st minute. Then, she later set up Russo for a crucial goal four minutes from the end of regulation.

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The FIFA Women’s World Cup final will be played between England and Spain at Stadium Australia on Sunday. Both countries are making their inaugural appearances in the championship match. This will mark the first all-European final since 2003. Australia will compete against Sweden, who lost 2-1 to Spain in the other semifinal, for third place on Saturday in Brisbane.

Despite creating opportunities throughout her 100th game for Australia, Katrina Gorry admitted the Matildas were unable to assert the level of dominance required.

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After topping their group, overcoming Nigeria on penalties in the round of 16, and defeating Colombia in the quarterfinals, England reached the semifinals for the third consecutive Women’s World Cup. In contrast, Australia made their first appearance in the final four.

Throughout the match, England displayed a stronger edge, particularly in the first half and the final 20 minutes, showcasing greater clinical efficiency when it mattered.

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For Australia, it appeared that their peak was reached in the penalty shootout victory over France, securing their first quarterfinal win in Women’s World Cup history. The Matildas seemed to struggle against England’s defensive tactics, as demonstrated by Kerr’s limited impact and subsequent efforts to gain momentum.

Although Kerr managed to breach England’s defense with a remarkable solo run and long-range shot, Hemp quickly restored England’s advantage. Kerr missed a subsequent header opportunity, and England’s defense held firm as Australia squandered further chances before Hemp assisted Russo in sealing the victory.

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Hemp highlighted the England squad’s desire to recreate the euphoria generated by their European Championship triumph the previous year after eliminating Australia from contention.

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