Despite missing several players due to injury (and one due to a two-match suspension), England are heading into the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup for the third consecutive tournament. They beat Colombia 2-1 on Saturday thanks to the winner from Alicia Russo.
It was a tough, physical match. Colombia started the scoring in the 44th minute with a goal scored by Leice Santos, who rose brilliantly over the head of goalkeeper Marie Erbes.
But Colombia did not hold the lead for long. During injury time at the end of the first half, Lauren Hemp found the net to level the score at 1-1.
About 20 minutes into the second half, England took the lead with a goal from Alicia Russo, and they stayed ahead until the end of the match.
England had to work hard for this win, especially with Colombian teenage star Linda Caicedo on the field. She gave England trouble from start to finish. Every time there was a flurry of action near the England goal, Caicedo was right in the middle of it.
But it wasn’t enough. Colombia searched desperately for an equalizer to extend the match, and they almost had a goal in the 76th minute, but in the end they couldn’t find one.
England will meet Australia in the semi-final match on Wednesday. Australia also won on Saturday, defeating France in a wild match that ended in the longest penalty shootout in the tournament’s history.