LIONESSES PLAYER RATINGS: Lauren Hemp steals the show while Alessia Russo and Ella Toone deliver when it matters in 3-1 semi-final win over Australia
England reached the World Cup final with a stunning 3-1 win over tournament hosts Australia on Wednesday.
Ella Toone gave the Lionesses a first-half lead before Sam Kerr’s stunning equaliser in the second half restored hope for Australia.
Lauren Hemp fired England back ahead in the 71st minute, and Alessia Russo sealed the historic victory with a late strike, setting up an enthralling final against Spain on Sunday.
Mail Sport’s IAN HERBERT delivers his Lionesses player ratings from Down Under.
Lauren Hemp was Mail Sport’s player of the match with an 8.5 rating after her crucial goal
Mary Earps – 7
Breathes confidence into England’s defence. Could get nowhere near Kerr’s phenomenal strike but made vital one handed save from Cortnee Vine.
Jess Carter – 7
Combative performance to help repel the Kerr threat. Occasional error in possession but superb tackled to block Kerr cross moments after the Aussie goal.
Millie Bright – 5.5
Uncomfortable battle with Kerr. Unable to cope when she burst away to score and could have been punished again when Kerr headed over. Fine diagonal to set up winner.
Alex Greenwood – 7
Solid in helping repel the counter-attack but distributed well. Arced in a fine first half ball which Hemp should have scored from.
Lucy Bronze – 6.5
Not a major player but showed her class in flashes, almost clipped keeper Arnold from the acute in the second half.
Georgia Stanway – 6
Not at her best and didn’t contribute as much as she sometimes can in the pockets of space.
Keira Walsh – 7.5
Key part of the midfield line which pressed Australia and chocked off their supply line to Kerr. The brain of the team.
Rachel Daly – 7
Excellent at both ends of the pitch, repelling Hayley Raso’s thrusts down the Aussie right but also joining in the attacks. Throw-in set the move for the goal in motion.
Ella Toone opened the scoring in the first half, grabbing the all-important first goal in the clash
Alessia Russo sealed the victory with the Lionesses’ third goal and could have scored a header
Ella Toone – 8
A quite exquisite striker to send England towards the final. After a struggle for form in this tournament, came good when she needed.
Alessia Russo – 8
A major threat when moments came. Did well to hold up play and create Toone’s goal and was inches away from angling in a second half header. Fine finish for third.
Lauren Hemp – 8.5
The mainstay of this England team. Missed a good first half chance but bullied Ellie Carpenter into an error to score the second and beautiful reverse pass for third.
Subs: Niamh Charles for Toone, 90; Chloe Kelly for Russo, 87