Despite missing several players due to injury (and one due to a two-match ban), England are on their way to the Women’s World Cup semifinals for the third tournament in a row. They beat Colombia 2-1 on Saturday thanks to a winner from Alessia Russo.
It was a tough, physical game. Colombia started the scoring in the 44th minute with a goal from Leicy Santos, who lifted the ball beautifully over the head of Mary Earps.
But Colombia did not take the lead for long. During stoppage time at the end of the first half, Lauren Hemp found the net to even the score at 1-1.
About 20 minutes into the second half, England took the lead with a goal from Alessia Russo, and they stayed in front for the rest of the game.
England will have to work hard for that victory, especially with Colombian teenage phenom Linda Caicedo on the field. He gave England trouble from start to finish. Whenever there was a flurry of action near England’s goal, Caicedo was in the middle of it.
But it is not enough. Colombia looked hard for an equalizer to put the game away, and they almost had one in the 76th minute, but in the end they couldn’t find it.
England will face Australia in the semifinal match on Wednesday. Australia also won on Saturday, defeating France in a wild game that ended in the longest penalty shootout in tournament history.