Ella Toone has surged England ahead in a remarkable fashion against Australia in the semi-final showdown of the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
Entering the tournament as reigning European champions, England stands as one of the top contenders to triumph and claim the World Cup title.
Under the guidance of Sarina Wiegman, the team secured victories in all three group stage matches and subsequently overcame challenges from Nigeria and Colombia in the round of 16 and quarter-finals.
With significant contenders like the United States, Germany, France, and Sweden already eliminated, many observers believe that England now stands as the prominent favorite to secure victory in the competition.
During Wednesday morning’s match, England faced off against co-hosts Australia at the Stadium Australia in Sydney.
The co-hosts had demonstrated impressive form, securing their inaugural placement in the World Cup semi-finals.
In the presence of an enthusiastic crowd at Stadium Australia, both teams had opportunities to take the lead in the early stages, but the defenses held firm.
Notably, star striker Sam Kerr had an early chance to put Australia ahead, but her attempt was thwarted initially by England’s goalkeeper Mary Erps and subsequently by an offside ruling.
At the 35-minute mark, Ella Toone showcased extraordinary skill by smashing a goal that propelled England into the lead.
The ball fell perfectly into her path and she used the outside of her boot to arrow the ball right into the top of the net.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 16, 2023
Former England player Rachel Brown Finnis said: “Sumptuous play, good build up from England. What about that! Strike through the ball. Top bins, side netting.
“That is the way to answer any criticism that Ella Toone has had this tournament, I am delighted for her.”
Toone somewhat had a point to prove after she was dropped to the bench after England’s opening fixture against Haiti. Lauren James’ red card against Nigeria meant Toone was brought back into the fold by the manager.