Soccer

England would have underperformed had they not made last four – Lucy Bronze

Defender Lucy Bronze revealed England would have didn’t reside as much as their very own expectations had they not reached the World Cup semi-finals.

Alessia Russo assured the Lionesses would end no decrease than fourth within the 2023 match when her second-half objective accomplished a 2-1 comeback in opposition to Colombia in Saturday’s quarter-final to arrange Wednesday’s assembly with co-hosts Australia.

Third place would see England equal their best-ever end from eight years in the past in Canada, however Bronze insisted reaching this stage for the third time within the European champions’ historical past was the naked minimal.

“If we hadn’t have gotten to the semi-final, I would have said that we would have underperformed,” mentioned Bronze.

“A lot of people said that England were the team that were going to flop a little bit. Our performances haven’t been our best, granted, but the results have been there and we’ve got to the semi-final, which is what this England team is known for doing.

“This very much reminds me of 2015, having to fight in every single game.

“I think the difference with this team is we have won trophies, we have won tournaments, so we do know what to do.

“We knew coming into the tournament that it wasn’t going to be easy. There was a lot of outside noise about whether England was going to be able to cope well with everything thrown at us…and the semi-final is what is expected of us as the England team.”

Bronze, alongside Alex Greenwood, is one in every of simply two members of the 2023 squad to have featured in three consecutive World Cups and is second solely to Jill Scott in World Cup appearances for the Lionesses, with 18 to the retired midfielder’s 21. 

The 31-year-old made historical past throughout her first international showpiece in 2015, when her 76th-minute effort made it 2-1 in opposition to Norway of their last-16 encounter and secured England Women’s first-ever victory in a World Cup knockout stage.

Four years later, once more in opposition to Norway, Bronze unleashed one other gorgeous strike, capping off the Lionesses’ 3-0 quarter-final victory in France to ebook a second journey to the semi-finals.

To say the Matildas have captured Australia’s creativeness en path to their first-ever final-four encounter would be promoting quick the zeal taking maintain Down Under.

Saturday’s dramatic penalty shootout victory over France was watched by over 7.2 million individuals in Australia, over 1 / 4 of the nation’s inhabitants.

Co-host broadcaster Seven mentioned the viewers was the “highest rating TV sport program of the past decade”, whereas “the 472,000 viewers on 7plus makes the Matildas v France game the biggest streaming event ever seen in Australia”.

England had a style of the setting they are prone to face on Wednesday when they lined up throughout from a Colombia facet that loved the overwhelming majority within the Stadium Australia stands, a sea of yellow who booed when England touched the ball and unleashed an almighty roar when Leicy Santos scored the opener.

Lauren Hemp cancelled it out by half-time, whereas Russo offered the deadly blow after the break to remove the one facet from the Americas left within the match.

While being the house facet does have its benefits, as Bronze is aware of from last summer time’s Euro 2022 triumph, she was fast to level out the potential pitfalls dealing with the Matildas come Wednesday night time’s historic encounter.

She mentioned: “(There are) positives and negatives for being the home nation and for being the team against.

“It can be a lot of pressure to put on teams. I remember playing Canada in 2015 in that World Cup and there was a lot of pressure put on that team and it gave them a lot of fight.

“It was the same thing for us in the Euros last year. The ’12th man’ as they say, it really helped us.

“It was a key part to us winning and I think that’s been a key part for Australia when their backs have been against the wall this tournament. (For us) it wasn’t hostile but the Colombians were very loud, so that’s something we’re used to now.”


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