England secure place in World Cup final with sensational 3-1 win over the Matildas
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England has advanced to the World Cup final with a thrilling 3-1 victory over home nation Australia.
From before the game had even kicked off the enormity of the moment was extremely clear to all inside Stadium Australia.
Goosebumps were felt all around the nation and across the globe in England as the national anthems rang out to a thunderous reaction.
Sam Kerr was in the starting XI for the Matildas for the first time this tournament, encapsulating how massive this game felt.
The Australian captain almost made it a firing start for her side, finding herself through on goal and one-on-one with Mary Earps early in the game.
The England keeper came in clutch and saved her effort, only for Kerr to be pulled back for office.
Things were clearly as fiery on the pitch as they were off it between the two nations with Alex Greenwood copping a yellow card for a nasty challenge on Kerr.
After the first half hour of which England controlled possession, they finally broke down the Matildas' defence before half time.
Ella Toone collected the ball on the left-hand side of the box and unleashed a wicked shot into the top right corner.
Arnold had no chance of saving that one. It was a well-deserved goal for a team who had been in charge for most of the game.
England went into the break with a 1-0 lead and looking strong.
The opening moments of the second half started out much like the end of the first with England controlling much of the ball.
The Lionesses almost doubled their lead after an in-swinging corner found the head of Millie Bright on the six-yard box.
The Matildas were lucky to not be two goals down.
Needing something special, the Matildas received exactly that from their captain Sam Kerr.
Picking the ball up on the halfway line she surged toward the goal with England’s Alex Greenwood and Millie Bright ahead of her.
The Aussie captain found herself on the edge of the area and decided to do the impossible.
From just outside the 18-yard box she sent a ball flying into the top-right corner, with Mary Earps having no chance.
The goal sent Stadium Australia into raptures as the Matildas star player had clawed Australia back into the game after England had looked dominant throughout.
It signalled Sam Kerr’s first goal of the Women’s World Cup in her first start for the Matildas.
But ecstasy soon turned to despair for Australia as Lauren Hemp found herself through and goal and cooly netted the ball past the Australian keeper.
It was a brilliant finish as those in Sydney soon fell quiet, and the Lionesses looked like once again spoiling Australia’s party.
Kerr had a brilliant chance from a set-piece that fell nicely on the volley for her on the six-yard box.
Unlike her brilliance earlier in the half, it was a chance wasted for the Australians.
Just moments later the Lionesses found themselves down the end following a quick counterattack down the right-hand side.
Alessia Russo collected the ball inside the box and calmly slotted the ball past Arnold to put the result beyond doubt.
England withstood a late surge for the Matildas to take home the game and secure their spot in the World Cup final.
For Australia it's the end of the road for their tournament on home soil.
For the Lionesses its their chance to go back-to-back with wins in the European Championships and World Cup.