Despite missing several players due to injury (and one due to a two-game ban), England is headed to the Women’s World Cup semifinals for the third straight tournament. They defeated Colombia 2-1 on Saturday thanks to a winner from Alessia Russo.
It was a tough, physical match. Colombia got scoring started in the 44th minute with a goal from Leicy Santos, who lofted in a beauty right over keeper Mary Earps’ head.
But Colombia didn’t hold the lead for long. During stoppage time at the end of the first half, Lauren Hemp found the net to even the score 1-1.
About 20 minutes into the second half, England took the lead on a goal from Alessia Russo, and they stayed in front for the rest of the match.
England had to work hard for that win, especially with Colombian teenage phenom Linda Caicedo on the field. She gave England trouble from start to finish. Every time there was a flurry of action near England’s goal, Caicedo was in the middle of it.
But it wasn’t quite enough. Colombia searched desperately for an equalizer to extend the game, and they almost had one in the 76th minute, but in the end weren’t able to find one.
England will face Australia in the semifinal match on Wednesday. Australia also won on Saturday, defeating France in a wild game that ended with the longest penalty shootout in tournament history.