🏆 England score six, Denmark join them in last 16; USA survive scare | OneFootball

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OneFootball·1 August 2023

🏆 England score six, Denmark join them in last 16; USA survive scare

Article image:🏆 England score six, Denmark join them in last 16; USA survive scare

Four Women’s World Cup group stage fixtures took place on Tuesday, with further knockout places decided.

James stars as England claim top spot

Scorers: Shuang (pen) 57′; Russo 4′, Hemp 26′, James 41′, 66′, Kelly 77′, Daly 84′

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A big performance saw England seal qualification and top the group with three wins from three.

Sarina Wiegman brought Katie Zelem into midfield to replace the injured Keira Walsh as England shifted to a back-three system.

It took just four minutes for the first goal as Alessia Russo finished superbly from the edge of the area with a low finish. Russo was proving a real handful and almost laid on England’s second. The Arsenal attacker played in Lauren Hemp but her shot went just over the bar.

Hemp eventually did get her goal on 26 minutes as she raced in behind China’s high line and finished emphatically.

Having assisted those two goals, Lauren James scored the third, powering the ball home after a free-kick was played to her at the edge of the box. And it looked like the Chelsea winger had a second (and England’s fourth) from similar range with her left foot only for it to be ruled out for offside in the build-up.

China pulled one back after the break, with Wang Shuang converting from the penalty spot after a handball from Lucy Bronze, but James struck a sensational volley to restore England’s three-goal advantage.

And James was at it again, putting Chloe Kelly through to slide home a fifth after a goalkeeping error. Rachel Daly made it six with a smart finish from a Chloe Kelly assist and England will ease through as group winners.

Denmark seal second place

Scorers: Harder (pen) 23′, Troelsgaard 90+10′

Denmark just had to better China’s result to make the knockout phase and that proved to be no issue whatsoever.

Denmark thought they had opened the scoring inside five minutes but Simone Boye’s goal was ruled out by VAR for an offside.

But the Danes did take the lead midway through the half as Dayana Pierre-Louis was penalised for a handball inside the area.

Pernille Harder stepped up and swept home from 12 yards to send Denmark on their way. With Haiti pushing forward late on, substitute Sanne Troelsgaard broke and went through on goal, finishing low to make it two as Denmark eased into the next round.

USA survive by inches after late drama

USA survived a huge scare against Portugal to advance at the expense of their opponents following a scoreless draw – although they needed the post to save them from injury-time elimination.

They qualify as group runners-up after the Netherland’s thrashing of Vietnam.

After a dominant USA start, they were almost caught cold when Jéssica Silva was played through on the counter but she snatched at her chance and dragged the effort wide of goal.

But after regaining control of the contest, the holders were frustrated further by resolute Portuguese defending to keep things level and nervy at the interval.

After an unnerving fire alarm scare at the outset of the second half, there was another scare on the field at the back for the European side, who needed a goal-line clearance to deny Alex Morgan the opening goal.

In injury-time, Portugal came so close to pulling off an almighty shock and dumping out the holders, only for Ana Capeta to rattle the post with a low drive – coming within inches of one of the tournament’s greatest upsets.

It is now extremely likely that USA will face Sweden in the last 16.

Dutch run riot to book top spot

Scorers: Martens 8′, Snoeijs 11′, Brugts 18′, 57′, Roord 23′, 83′, Van de Donk 45′

The Netherlands breezed into the last 16 as group victors with a 7-0 thumping of Vietnam in their final game to leapfrog the USA into first.

A long ball over the top was met by Lieke Martens and although a retreating defender managed to halt her progress momentarily, she improvised with a fantastic instinctive lob for the opener.

Three minutes later, they extended their advantage through Katja Snoeijs, who finished sharply into the corner from the centre of the area after being picked out in space.

Their relentless pursuit of digging into the goal difference continued as they moved top of the group with the USA drawing as Esmee Brugts added a third within the opening 18 minutes by curling a stunning strike into the top corner from the edge of the area.

Five minutes later, it became four through Jill Roord and a fifth, from a fifth different scorer, was added on the stroke of half-time, netting from the rebound after Roord’s initial attempt was saved.

Twelve minutes after half-time and after a change of goalkeeper from Vietnam, Brugts added her second in similar stunning fashion with a carbon copy of her earlier rasper from range.

The scoring was completed with seven minutes left as the Orange Lionesses made it seven through a close range Roord header.

Barring any shocks in the final round of Group G fixtures, the Netherlands’ reward will be an all-European affair against Italy.