Australia is taking on powerhouse England on Wednesday (on FOX and the FOX Sports app) in a must-see semifinal matchup at Sydney’s Stadium Australia.
After just barely surviving group play, Australia is on the verge of playing in the final while also hosting the World Cup. It would be the first time since 1999 that a country hosting the event played for the women’s title (the United States did so, winning against China in the finals that year).
For England, a win would mean its first final appearance at the World Cup in the country’s history.
Follow our live coverage below, featuring live analysis from FOX Sports’ Michael Cohen!
England vs. Australia
11′: England physical early with Sam Kerr
Cohen: That’s the second crunching tackle on Australia’s Sam Kerr, who is still recovering from a calf injury. Fair to wonder if that’s part of England’s strategy: to play physical against an elite athlete whose explosiveness is already limited. But that’s a very early yellow card for England’s Alex Greenwood to deal with. She’ll have to be smart for long stretches of this game.
9′: England’s first chance DENIED
8′: Australia’s defense looking stout
Cohen: On the flip side, Australia’s defensive tactic of giving those three English center backs plenty of space when the Lionesses have the ball is designed to clog passing lanes in midfield. By sagging off, Australia can place more bodies around England’s midfielders and make it harder for connecting passes from the back line. That encourages and entices England to play longer passes that have lower success rates.
7′: Kerr caught offsides
4′: England’s 3-5-2 vs Sam Kerr
Cohen: Sarina Wiegman’s decision to play a 3-5-2 formation presents a fascinating battle with Australia’s Sam Kerr. Three center backs defending more narrowly takes away some of the space in the inside channels, which is where Kerr loves to run in behind defenses. Worth watching to see if Kerr drifts wider at times to find the less-congested areas.
1′: Kerr tangled up early!
1′: And we are off!
Setting the stage
Australia vs. England Preview | World Cup Tonight
The “World Cup Tonight” crew previewed the Australia vs. England matchup in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinals and discussed whether Sam Kerr can lead the Matildas to the finals.
Australia is ready to go!
Almost ready for action
Young Australia fans out to support the team
Being part of the World Cup field is unlike anything else
‘The joy, the pride, the honor of representing an entire country’ – Ali Riley on being apart of the 32 teams in the Women’s World Cup
FOX’s Tom Rinaldi highlighted the emotions of the 32 teams representing their respective countries in the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Across 37 games in charge of England, manager Sarina Wiegman has lost just once — a 2-0 defeat to Australia in a friendly earlier this year. Her record outside of that game includes 29 wins and just seven draws. She helped England win the European Championship last summer and guided the Dutch national team to a World Cup runner-up finish in 2019. Every conversation about the best managers in women’s football includes Wiegman at, or near, the top of the list.
Today, Wiegman is trying to guide England to its first Women’s World Cup final in the country’s third consecutive trip to the semifinals. England is the only side to reach the last three semis and just the third nation to ever reach three semifinals in a row, joining the United States from 1991-2019 and Norway from 1991-99. England is 3-1-2 all time against Australia.
Player’s to Watch
FWD Alessia Russo — With phenom Lauren James serving the second, and final, game of her suspension for a red card picked up against Nigeria, it’s Russo who becomes critically important for the Lionesses. Russo is tied for second on the team with two goals at this year’s tournament — trailing only James, who netted three — and she leads all players at the World Cup with 11 shots on target. Her overall total of 17 shots leads England and is tied for fifth among all players.
DEF Alex Greenwood — The Manchester City player leads all defenders at this year’s tournament with 13 interceptions. She also ranks third in passes into the final third with 45, which is four more than any other English player. Her tally of 40 progressive passes leads England and is tied for seventh overall.
MID Georgia Stanway — The 24-year-old rising star is arguably the most important player in England’s midfield with 10 chances created across five games, a mark bested only by Spain’s Jenni Hermoso with 13. Stanway’s 11 key passes leads the Lionesses at the offensive end of the field, while her tally of 11 blocks leads England on the defensive end of the pitch.
England will never quit
Chloe Kelly, Rachel Daly talk England’s resilience during 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup
Chloe Kelly and Rachel Daly sat down to talk about England’s resilience in their goal to win the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Manager Tony Gustafsson made his biggest call of the tournament by selecting star striker Sam Kerr in his starting lineup for the semifinal against England. Kerr, who suffered a calf injury in the final days of training before the World Cup, has only appeared in two matches thus far and came off the bench both times. She’s played a total of 77 minutes.`
Gustafsson’s team is seeking to become just the second host nation to reach the Women’s World Cup final, with the United States being the last side to do so in 1999. It’s the second time the Australians have reached the semifinals of a global tournament after finishing fourth at the Olympics two years ago. The Matildas have lost just twice in their last 15 matches by going 12-1-2 during that stretch.
[Sam Kerr gets first start of 2023 World Cup in Australia’s semifinal vs. England]
Players to watch
FWD Sam Kerr — The 29-year-old Chelsea star has created two chances and registered two shots in her brief appearances off the bench. But over the course of her international career, Kerr is averaging roughly one goal every two matches. Her speed and willingness to make runs in behind will test the England back line, which includes two of her club teammates at Chelsea.
GK Mackenzie Arnold — A hero in Australia’s shootout win over France to reach the semifinals, Arnold has been a central figure for a defensive unit that has kept four clean sheets in five games, the most of any team in the tournament. She’s tied for eighth among goalkeepers with 15 saves and has an 83.3% save percentage.
MID Hayley Raso — With Kerr playing a smaller role, Raso has stepped forward and leads the team with three goals. She’s placed 71.4% of her shots on target thus far — the ninth-best mark at the tournament — and has an impressive rate of +1.6 goals minus expected goals (xG), which demonstrates an ability to cash in difficult chances.
Australia fans are showing up tonight!
Kerr starting tonight
Sam Kerr is back in the starting lineup tonight for the home team.
Australia is HYPED
Australia gripped by ‘Matildas Mania’ ahead of semifinals match with England
The World Cup crew discussed “Matilda’s Mania” ahead of the semifinals matchup between Australia and England.
Starting XI for Australia
England Starting XI
Australia is READY
Fans are ready to spark the home team
Inspiring the future
Australia is hoping to leave its mark on future generations.
Check out the full Women’s World Cup schedule and how to watch each match live here. Find the latest scores here.
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