Norway v England | Quarter Final 2019
For England, a cozy evening in Le Havre saw them at a second consecutive semi-final of the Women’s World Cup. After just two minutes and seven seconds-France’s highest goal so far and the fastest ever England Women’s World Cup strike-they never looked back after 1-0 through Jill Scott. Ellen White tapped home in front of the break before the victory was stamped by Lucy Bronze’s rocket.
“I thought we played no different to the previous games, we were just more ruthless. There was a lot of talk before the games about their strength and qualities. We’ve paid them a lot of respect, but I thought this afternoon ‘it’s about us’. I just had a feeling the players were up for it. They went out there and delivered.”
Phil Neville, England coach
The side of Phil Neville, now over six hours without admitting, could even afford to squander a penalty; Nikita Parris saved a second consecutive spot kick. Norway, for its portion, is heading back with their heads kept high, having surpassed expectations by first reaching the last eight. They’re going to sit back for England and watch Le Grand Match tomorrow with enormous interest.
“I said when I signed for Lyon two years ago that the dream was to play in Lyon and at Lyon’s stadium for the World Cup – I’ve had to wait two years for that dream to come true. I’m super excited to be heading to Lyon – home – it’s a stadium I love playing in and it’s a city that I love.”
Lucy Bronze, Visa Player of the Match
Norway fought bravely but never recovered from an early goal concession, and a resolute defense from England was able to maintain them at bay. The Norwegians can be proud of a run to the quarter-finals, counted out before the tournament even began, which amazed many and showed that their days at the top of the women’s game are not over yet.
“We tried between the halves to ignite the fire and we knew that if we scored one goal it would be a match again. We couldn’t and when it became 3-0, it became too hard. But I would like to state that we still saw our players fight ’til the even though it looked hopeless. We fought on ’til the end. Even if the game at the end of course was gone, we still fought. That’s a plus for us.”
Martin Sjogren, Norway coach
England supporters might find it almost too good to be true to watch their team cruise into the semi-finals with such a sense of calm, coupled with a winning mentality. Yet the Lionesses have grown into this tournament to show that fans can’t get enough of an elegance and liberty. Like most games during this tournament, England broke records— the poached goal of Ellen White lifting her to become the top scorer of England in the history of the Women’s World Cup, with six goals, five scored this month. The output of Tonight was the finest fees shown by Phil Neville; mature, gathered, and perhaps that of prospective winners of the contest.