untung99.biz: England vs Colombia talking points Lionesses learn from their mistakes to reach Womens World Cup semifinals

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England showed they have learned from their past mistakes in their victory against Colombia. Here, Sky Sports looks at the talking points from Saturday’s quarter-final…

England remain calm in the face of chaos

When Leicy Santos’ shot curled into the top corner, brushing over Mary Earps’ outstretched fingers, a collective groan of dread was heard in houses across the country.

Colombia had struck first – and worse. They were operating in a low block they knew would keep their opponents toiling away further and further from the box.

But, given that this system had previously troubled England, the response was surprisingly promising.

Sarina Wiegman’s side adapted quickly and efficiently. They knew they were finding joy on the flanks, all they had to do was wait for a chance to come their way, and eventually, it did.

Catalina Perez spilled the ball in the goalmouth, and Lauren Hemp needed no second invitation to break the deadlock.

Hemp told ITV Sport after the game: “I’m really enjoying it [her new role]. I feel really free when I’m on the pitch. I love playing on the wing, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like I can go down the left or right whenever I want and the connection I’ve got with Alessia is really strong at the moment.

“The first one was a bit scrappy and I didn’t expect the ball to come into my path, but I feel like the connection we’ve got is so strong. Less can score like she did and it’s unbelievable to play with.

“I feel like I’m still a little way off. I’m always striving to be the best version of myself, but I feel like, as a group, we’re in a strong place at the moment, feeling confident. Bring on Australia in a few days’ time.”

Unlike in the narrow victory over Nigeria, England’s patience had been vital to the cause.

Lauren Hemp equalised for England late in the first half

They were careful not to remain overexposed when any defender in the backline made forward forays, and deftly weaved their way to the opposition box.

Alessia Russo profited off one of those targeted moves to score in the second half to ensure her side remained in control.

Lionesses learned from their mistakes

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Anton Toloui and Gail Davis react to England’s quarter-final win over Colombia and look ahead to their match against Australia

So much went wrong against Nigeria. But part of that was down to Randy Waldrum’s shrewd decision to funnel his team’s attacking play down England’s flanks.

The change worked wonders. Nigeria dominated England on either side of the pitch, and it would have secured their passage to the quarter-finals on another day.

This time around, Wiegman ensured her team did not fall into the same trap. She stuck with the 3-5-2 shape, but paid special attention to Colombia’s playmakers Linda Caicedo and Mayra Ramirez.

Both players received a double dose of defenders and were did not quite functioning as their usual, potent selves.

In midfield, Georgia Stanway and Hemp took on the low block and battled their way through elbows and knees – so much so that it is a wonder how no one was booked during the game in Sydney.

Colombia had no choice but to resort to the dark arts. Soon after coming on, 19-year-old right-back Ana Maria Guzman took out both Hemp and Daly with some real force. However, the referee seemed nonplussed by the free-kick calls.

But it was especially calming to see that England knew how to respond and were not just flailing around for a switch in the dark.

It was a game that impressed England captain Millie Bright too, who told Sky Sports News: “I love the mentality, I’ll mention it every single game because I know what this team is made of both mentally and physically, and also technically. [On Saturday], we had a mixture of everything.

“We’ve worked really hard to be in this position and mentality is a big part of it. That’s where you start in football and against any opponent you come up against.

“For us, we don’t underestimate, we don’t take anything for granted and we work our socks off every single week.”

Waldrum smiled ruefully when he admitted that Nigeria had ‘laid out a blueprint’ on how to disrupt England for other teams in the World Cup.

“I’m sure other teams will watch and think, ‘this gives us an idea of the way we need to play them’,” he pointed out.

Colombia listened – and almost used his findings to lead a successful tirade against the Lionesses.

They knew that, as the Nigeria boss had uncovered, if they kept possession away from central areas, their opponents would be unable to play the slick football they were recognised for.

Keeping the ball on the flanks had an added benefit – it ensured several one-on-ones between Lucy Bronze, Jess Carter, and the menacing Caicedo.

In the 44th minute, that culminated in a cross to Santos, who unleashed a sublime finish that Earps could not get her fingertips to.

After England went ahead too, Colombia pushed for an equaliser in the final half an hour. Both Caicedo and Ramirez fired wide in added time, the ticking clock providing a need for speed rather than accuracy.

Colombia head coach Nelson Abadia said: “We made errors, errors that you can’t make. We’re not satisfied, but we have peace of mind because we played a very good World Cup and we demonstrated the football in Colombia and we proved how football in Colombia has progressed over time.”

It was a disappointing end for a team that has captured the imaginations of many at this World Cup. While individual errors ultimately cost them, Colombia have surely cemented their spot as contenders on the world stage.

England will play Australia in the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup. The game will be played on Wednesday August 16 with kick-off at 11am.

The round of 16 concluded on Tuesday ahead of the quarter-finals, which will be held in Wellington, Auckland, Brisbane and Sydney, between August 11 and 12.

The first semi-final will then be played on August 15 in Auckland, with the other semi-final taking place on August 16 at the Accor Stadium in Sydney, which will then host the final on August 20.

A third-place play-off will be played the day before the final on August 19 in Brisbane.