England beat Denmark to stand on the brink of Women’s World Cup last 16 | Football News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: European champions England secured a crucial 1-0 victory over Denmark in Sydney, putting them on the brink of qualifying for the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup. The winning goal came early in the sixth minute, courtesy of a sensational strike by Lauren James.

The match was played in front of a crowd of just over 40,000 spectators in Sydney, and it was an overall satisfactory performance for the English team. However, the victory was overshadowed by a potentially serious knee injury suffered by influential midfielder Keira Walsh during the game.

Despite the injury setback, England is in a promising position to advance to the knockout rounds. They will secure their place in the last 16 if China, the Asian champions, fail to defeat debutants Haiti later on the same day.
Denmark, despite having a small share of possession throughout much of the game, almost managed to salvage a point in the dying minutes of normal time. Amalie Vangsgaard’s header narrowly missed the England post, providing a late scare for the English team.
James, the 21-year-old forward from Chelsea, was the standout performer in the first half, although her impact diminished as the match progressed into the second half. The victory was a crucial step for England in their quest to progress further in the Women’s World Cup.
“It’s an amazing feeling and something I always dreamed of,” she said.
“We built on the momentum from the last win and took it into this game.
“Another difficult win but we got the win and that is the most important thing.”
James needed just six minutes to justify her inclusion, drifting off the left into the middle, skipping past a weak challenge and bending the ball with her right foot into the bottom corner from outside the box.


James, sister of Chelsea’s England men’s international Reece James, was everywhere.
Twice in a minute she threatened another as England — wearing black armbands in memory of former international Trevor Francis, who died this week aged 69 — went in search of a second.
Yet for all that, Denmark nearly equalised with their first chance on 24 minutes when Rikke Madsen took the ball inside the area on the turn and flashed just wide of the far post.
The Danes, ranked 13 in the world to England’s four, were a threat on the break.
Skipper Pernille Harder shot straight at goalkeeper Mary Earps as Denmark carved out three decent looks at goal within a few minutes.
A night that had been going so well for the Lionesses then suffered a significant setback when Walsh, a key cog in the team that won the Euro last year, tumbled over and appeared to badly hurt her knee.
She was stretchered off in tears and replaced by Laura Coombs seven minutes before half-time, a question mark now hanging over the rest of the Barcelona player’s World Cup.
England were already missing captain Leah Williamson and Euro 2022 Golden Boot winner Beth Mead, both ruled out before the tournament with knee injuries.
The second half was more of the same: England with most of the chances and possession, but Denmark looking to hit on the break.
That is what they did when Vangsgaard darted into the six-yard box, her header centimetres from snatching a point.
Denmark coach Lars Sondergaard said Walsh’s injury helped his side get a foothold in the match and felt they should have been level at the break.
“I feel a bit sorry for England losing Keira Walsh. I hope it is not as bad as it looked,” he said.
“That could also be one reason we came back into the game.
“If we had been good enough, precise enough, we could have punished them before half-time on the counter.”
(With AFP inputs)

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