Women’s World Cup LIVE: England prepare for final against Spain and latest reaction to win over Australia

‘Another reason to whinge’: Australian media criticise England after Matildas beaten at Women’s World Cup

Australia missed out on a first appearance in a Women’s World Cup final after a 3-1 defeat to England in Sydney.

The Matildas fell behind in the first half at Stadium Australia before Sam Kerr levelled with a spectacular finish from distance.

But goals from Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo secured victory for the Lionesses late on to take Sarina Wiegman’s side through to a second consecutive major tournament final.

‘Another reason to whinge’: Australian media criticise England approach

Australia were beaten 3-1 by England to exit their home World Cup at the semi-final stage

Sarina Wiegman could be England men’s manager after Southgate, says FA chief

Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham would not rule out the possibility that Lionesses boss Sarina Wiegman could one day lead the England men’s team.

The 53-year-old’s stock as a serial winner has risen steadily since securing the European championship trophy with her native Netherlands in 2017, then doing the same with England last summer.

She has now guided England to a first-ever World Cup final, in the process becoming the only manager to do so with two different nations in the women’s showpiece after steering her home country to the same stage four years ago.

Sarina Wiegman could be an England men’s manager after Southgate, says FA chief

Wiegman’s stock as a serial winner has risen steadily after reaching her fourth successive final as a head coach in international football

England’s deadly duo have already provided the answer to the Lauren James debate

Lauren Hemp didn’t need to look; she already had the picture in her head. After 86 minutes of being everywhere for England, Hemp found another burst to turn away from Katrina Gorry and ease into the space, gliding to the left to create room on the right. As Australia backed off, Hemp opened up the angle and reversed the ball back to Alessia Russo – her target all along. Then came the finish, low, controlled, a clinical way to round off a ruthless performance on a gutsy night. Cool, calm and collected, it booked England’s place in the World Cup final and summed up how they beat Australia.

“Incredible finish, incredible pass,” Sarina Wiegman said. For the second match in a row, her front two were both on the scoresheet, Hemp and Russo on target in the semi-finals, just as they were in the quarter-finals, just as Wiegman had planned. Except, of course, that no one would have planned for this, in a tournament where rarely anything has gone to script for England and they have been forced to adapt. The Lionesses came into the World Cup with seven forwards and they will likely start Sunday’s final with only two in attacking positions; Hemp and Russo stand as their unlikely combination.

England’s deadly duo have already provided the answer to the Lauren James debate

Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo have become England’s unlikely forward combination and their goals have fired the Lionesses to a first-ever Women’s World Cup final

When do England play the Women’s World Cup final?

England stormed into their first ever Women’s World Cup final after defeating Australia 3-1.

Goals from Ella Toone, Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo were enough to put the Matildas away in Sydney.

Australia has been gripped by World Cup fever after the Matildas’ dramatic penalty shootout victory against France in the quarter-finals became the most-watched sporting event in the country since the 2000 Olympic Games, but Sarina Wiegman’s side had too much in the semi-finals.

But the European champions will now play Spain in Sunday’s showpiece in Sydney, after La Roja defeated Sweden 2-1 in the other semi-final.

Get all the latest football betting sites offers and get the latest odds on football matches here. Here’s everything you need to know about the Lionesses’ run down under:

England finally reach the world’s greatest stage — and that is worth celebrating

Alex Greenwood claimed she “cannot put it into the words”, so she just kept repeating the words that made her feel like that. “We’re in a World Cup final.”

“I just keep having to say it,” she laughed.

It is a glorious fact worth actually reflecting on, even as thoughts quickly turned to Sunday, what next, who starts, whether Lauren James comes in.

If actually winning the World Cup is the great ambition of any career, the final itself is the great stage. Those who step onto the pitch will leave their own mark on history, the very line-ups part of the record that makes football so rich.

“We wanted to take England and women’s football to a new level and we have certainly done that over the last 12 months,” Ella Toone said. They’ve taken it all to the highest level for the very first time.

That is worth celebrating, as Sarina Wiegman and the players insisted they would be doing.

By Miguel Delaney in Sydney

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