Spain versus England for all the marbles.
(Reuters) – England has reached the FIFA Women's World Cup final for the first time ever, eking out a 3-1 win over co-host Australia on Wednesday in front of a raucous home crowd hoping for more Matildas magic.
With the win, the English squad broke the hearts of the host nation and set up an all-European title decider against Spain. It also put itself in prime position to bring football’s biggest, most prestigious title back to England, widely considered the home of the beautiful game.
Ella Toone drove England's opener into the corner of the net in the 36th minute to silence the crowd of 75,784. However, Australia captain Sam Kerr brought the Matildas back into it with a stunning run and strike from 25 meters out in the 64th minute.
The Matildas defense failed to deal with a long ball over the top seven minutes later, however, and Lauren Hemp nipped in to drill it into the net to give England back the lead, 2-1.
Kerr, who was magical all tournament long for the Matildas, came close to scoring an equalizer but just came up short. Minutes later, Alessia Russo powered home England's third goal just four minutes from time to send the European champions, but semifinal losers at the last two FIFA Women’s World Cups, into Sunday's final.