Despite Sam Kerr’s super goal
England rips Australia from all World Cup dreams
08/16/2023 1:53 p.m
The European soccer champions are also in the World Cup final: England wins against the hosts from Australia. A stroke of genius by superstar Sam Kerr only gives the euphoric nation hope for a moment.
England’s European champions as ice-cold party crashers have burst Australia’s dream of a World Cup final in their own country. The Lionesses defeated the Matildas 3-1 (1-0) in Sydney’s cauldron and will play against Spain on Sunday (12 p.m./ZDF and in the ntv.de live ticker) for the football throne for the first time.
In front of 75,784 fans, Ella Toone (36th), Lauren Hemp (71st) and Alessia Russo (86th) gave the favorite the chance of their second title within 13 months in the semifinals. Superstar Sam Kerr (63rd) had in the meantime given hope to Australia with a stroke of genius, which is now with the small final against Sweden on Saturday (10 a.m./ARD and in the ntv.de live ticker) must comfort.
Mastermind Sarina Wiegman remains the guarantor of success par excellence: England’s team manager from the Netherlands reached the final of a European Championship or World Cup for the fourth time in a row. “We’re in the final, it’s unbelievable. It almost feels like we’ve already won,” said Wiegman on ARD after an “incredible game”.
The duel with the old colonial power had electrified sports fans Down Under for days. “An old enemy, a new battle – and a nation full of admiration holds its breath,” headlined The Australian daily. The football fever finally reached unimagined dimensions: 7.2 million watched the penalty thriller against France in the quarter-finals (7:6 a.E.) on TV.
Kerr in the starting XI for the first time
The fact that goalscorer Kerr was in the starting XI for the first time after a calf injury only fueled hopes on Wednesday. However, national coach Tony Gustavsson had to do without his sick central defender Alanna Kennedy. And the hosts’ defense had to be extremely careful in an intense encounter against England’s variable offensive. After a long ball, Georgia Stanway from the German champions FC Bayern checked the Australian goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold (9th).
At the other end, Kerr in particular had to take a beating, England were robust against the Chelsea striker. The Lionesses increasingly pushed Australia on the defensive, the unguarded Toone hit the home fans in the heart with a powerful right-footed shot into the right angle.
After the break, the Matildas researchers came out of the dressing room and the game picked up speed. Then Kerr’s moment came: After a solo run, the 29-year-old shot from 25 meters, England keeper Mary Earps stretched in vain – the Stadium Australia literally exploded.
But the English women hit back after a moment of uncertainty. After a mistake by Australia’s right-back Ellie Carpenter, Hemp didn’t hesitate and finished successfully with a low shot. Russo made the decision after a perfect counterattack, Australia had previously missed the equalizer on a few good occasions.