England hammer Norway to make semi-finals
Women’s World Cup quarter-final, Stade Oceane – England 3 (Scott 3’, White 40’ Bronze 57’)
England hammered Norway 3-0 on Thursday evening to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup for a second tournament in a row.
The Lionesses got off to the perfect start when Jill Scott tapped home Lucy Bronze’s cutback inside three minutes after a miss-kick from Ellen White, before a wonderful team move was finished off by White - taking her joint top of the World Cup goalscoring charts - five minutes before half time.
Bronze then put the icing on the victory with a fabulous strike from a well-worked free-kick in the 57th minute, with Nikita Parris even having penalty saved well by Norway keeper Ingrid Hjelmseth after England captain Steph Houghton was pushed in the box late on.
England will now face the winners of the match between France and USA in the last four and will fancy their chances after such an impressive showing in Le Havre.
The tournament’s fastest goal – timed at 126 seconds – put England on course for victory as veteran Scott finished after great work from Bronze to create the opening.
Norway responded well, though, and put England under pressure, but England showed far superior quality in front of goal, with White thundering an effort against the post on the end of a sumptuous pass from Parris.
Lyon forward Parris was again the creator for White, this time the 30-year-old could not miss from six yards, with the goal meaning White is now England’s top goalscorer at Women’s World Cups.
After the break, England continued in the ascendancy, rounding off the win with Bronze’s thunderbolt of a strike from fully 25 yards, after Beth Mead had caught the Norwegians napping, with Parris unable to make the margin of victory more emphatic from 12 yards in the latter stages.
Karen Bardsley of England and Lucy Bronze of England celebrate at full time during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Quarter Final match between Norway and England at Stade Oceane on June 27, 2019 in Le Havre, France.Getty Images
It is coming home, right? England’s triumph in the SheBelieves Cup certainly raised hopes of success in France this summer ahead of the World Cup, but four wins from four prior to their quarter-final clash ensured a nation expected. Now, having put a talented Norway side to the sword in emphatic fashion, World Cup glory is still very much on England fans’ minds. USA and France are still favourites, but England are starting to hit top gear, and with such an array of attacking talent, can anyone stop them?
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Lucy Bronze. Houghton was a colossus at the back, but the award goes to the best right-back in this tournament, hands down. Her set-up play for the opener was superb, showing a great burst of pace before laying a perfect pass back for Scott. Bronze remained a threat on the right all match, before getting on the scoresheet herself in spectacular fashion.
England's Lucy Bronze celebrates scoring their third goal with team mates as Norway's Karina Saevik and Maria Thorisdottir look dejectedReuters
Norway: Hjelmseth 6, Moe Wold 6, Mjelbe 6, Thorisdottir 6, Minde 6, Saevik 6, Boe Risa 5, Engen 5, Reiten 5, Graham 6, Herlovsen 5... Subs: Hansen N/A, Utland 7, Eikeland 6.
3’ - GOOOOOAAAALLLLLL!!!!!! England 1-0 Norway. What a start from England as Jill Scott steers home the opener. The fastest goal of the tournament so far gives England the advantage. Superb work from Lucy Bronze to burst to the byline, she pulled it back for White, who miss kicked, but veteran Scott was on hand to steer the ball into the bottom corner.
20’ - CHAAAAAANCE! Scott slides a nice pass into Nikita Parris, who cuts inside, with defenders committing themselves, but the Manchester City forward slices over the top with the goal at her mercy.
29’ - POST! So close to a second for England. The lofted pass to White from Parris is superb, the England striker takes her time and fires a powerful strike for goal, but sees her effort come out off the post.
38’ - SAVE! Lovely move from England. White feeds Kirby, who clips a perfect cross onto the head of Parris, but her downward header is well saved.
40’ - GOOOOOALLLLL!!!! England 2-0 Norway. White is on hand to convert from close range to double England's lead. Lovely swift move from England. Parris is again the danger as she is put clean through, only this time she elects to square for White, who slots home with ease. White now leads the scoring charts in this tournament, and now has more Women's World Cup goals than any other England player.
47’ - CHANCE! Graham Hansen is there, on the end of a knockdown, six yards out, unmarked, looking set to get Norway back into the match, but Houghton recovers brilliantly to make the tackle and save England.
57’ - GOOOOOOOOAAAALLLLLL!!!!! England 3-0 Norway. WHAT. A. GOAL. Bronze thunders into the net to surely put England in the last four. A training ground routine caught Norway out, Mead slotted the ball into the path of Bronze, who unleashed a thunderous strike from fully 25 yards that flew into the net. Game over?
66’ - OFF THE LINE! Awful pass from Bright puts Bardsley in trouble, Utland nips in, leaves Bardsley on the floor, fires for goal, but Houghton is back on the line to clear, heroically.
82’ - PENALTY TO ENGLAND! Houghton is pushed to the floor and the referee points to the spot.
83’ - SAVED! Parris, who missed her last penalty, sees another penalty saved! Good job it matters little!
Ellen White celebrates with the England substitutes' benchReuters
- Ellen White is the first England player ever to score five goals in a single Women’s World Cup
- White is the second English player to score in four consecutive FIFA World Cup appearances after Gary Lineker between 1986 and 1990 - she is the first English player to do so in a single edition.
- Jill Scott (2007, 2011 and 2019) is only the second ever player to score in three separate Women's World Cup tournaments for the Lionesses, after Fara Williams (2007, 2011 and 2015).
- Lucy Bronze is the first England player to both score and assist a goal in the same Women's World Cup game since Jill Scott against New Zealand in 2011.