England Women 2 – 1 Colombia Women

Alessia Russo’s second-half goal saw England beat Colombia 2-1 in the Women’s World Cup quarter-finals, setting up a semi-final showdown with Australia.

Many wondered how a mentally and physically draining last-16 win against Nigeria would affect the Lionesses, but it was a much-improved performance in Sydney.

However, England did go behind in the 44th minute as Leicy Santos’ stunning effort saw Mary Earps beaten for only the second time in the tournament.

But a calamitous error from Colombia goalkeeper Catalina Perez allowed Lauren Hemp to poke home the equaliser with the last kick of the half.

It was another individual error at the back that allowed Russo (63) through to score England’s winner, netting her second goal of the tournament.

England clung on to their lead as Colombia pressed for their own equaliser in the final half-hour, but managed to see the game out and book a semi-final meeting with co-hosts Australia on Wednesday – the only team to have beaten the Lionesses under Sarina Wiegman.

How England saw off Colombia

Lauren Hemp pokes in England's equaliser following a mistake by Colombia goalkeeper Catalina Perez
Lauren Hemp poked in England’s equaliser following a mistake by Colombia goalkeeper Catalina Perez

Colombia began well but Catalina Usme, who scored their winner against Jamaica in the last 16, shot went straight at Earps. At the other end, Colombia put their bodies on the line to block efforts from Russo and Hemp. In fact, they blocked so ferociously, Carolina Arias was eventually taken off with an injury.

Both sides continued to trade blows, and Rachel Daly had two quick efforts. The first saw a header go straight at Perez, before a curling effort from just outside the area whistled just wide.

Team news headlines

  • England made one change from the last-16 game against Nigeria, with the suspended Lauren James replaced by Ella Toone.
  • Colombia also made one change, with Manuela Vanegas coming back into the XI after suspension for Ana Maria Guzman.

Colombia went ahead in the 44th minute in a moment of magic from the impressive Santos. She collected the ball near the top-right corner of the area, squaring up to Daly, before sweeping a fine strike into the far corner with a leaping Earps unable to keep it out.

But the Lionesses responded well and equalised with the final kick of the half. Perez raced out to meet Russo’s initial strike, but spilled her collection. As she scrambled to keep the ball out, Russo’s touch sent the ball underneath the goalkeeper, allowing Hemp to round Perez and slot into an open net.

Colombia's Leicy Santos celebrates after scoring the opening goal vs England
Leicy Santos scored a stunning goal to see Colombia ahead

Colombia fired a warning shot within seconds of the restart – Mayra Ramirez lashing an effort into the side of the net – but the Lionesses again capitalised on another Colombian error to go ahead.

Russo’s marker failed to deal with a through ball from Georgia Stanway. The Arsenal forward pulled away, taking the ball wide before lashing home into the bottom corner.

Mary Earps makes a save mid-way through the second half
Mary Earps made a stunning save from Lorena Bedoya in the second half

But for the remaining half an hour, Colombia piled on the pressure. Their best chance came in the 71st minute when Earps was forced into an acrobatic, one-handed save to deny Lorena Bedoya’s strike from distance.

Manuela Vanegas, Ramirez and Caicedo all blazed over in eight minutes of added time as Colombia harried for a leveller, but England held on to reach a third successive World Cup semi-final.

England player ratings

England: Earps (7), Bronze (6), Bright (7), Greenwood (7), Carter (7), Daly (6), Walsh (6), Stanway (7), Toone (6), Hemp (7), Russo (7).

Subs used: Kelly (7), England (n/a).

What’s next?

England will play Australia in the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup. The game will be played on Wednesday, August 16 with kick-off at 11am.

What is the schedule?

Spain will play Sweden in the first semi-final will then be played on August 15 in Auckland, with Australia facing England on August 16 at the Accor Stadium in Sydney, which will then host the final on August 20.

A third-place play-off will be played the day before the final on August 19 in Brisbane.