ENGLAND’S all-conquering Lionesses, already European champions, took another colossal stride towards legendary status after putting co-hosts Australia to the sword in Sydney.

Only one thing stands in the way of England’s women from becoming historic double champions of Europe and the world: Spain.

The Lioness’ sparkling 3-1 victory in the semi-final sets them on a collision course with La Rioja in Sunday’s showpiece final, which will take place back in Sydney.

Goals from Ella Toone, Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo won it for England, despite a Sam Kerr screamer.

They will face off against Spain, who defeated Sweden 2-1 yesterday with a dramatic last minute winner from Olga Carmona.

The game will kick off at 12pm Spain time (11am UK time) at the Stadium Australia in Sydney, and will be broadcast on the BBC in the UK and La 1 in Spain.

England have slowly grown in strength over the course of the tournament, after kicking off with a pair of unconvincing 1-0 victories over Haiti and Denmark.

They then stomped on China 6-1, before scraping past Nigeria on penalties and edging out Colombia 2-1 in the quarters.

Meanwhile, Spain have been deadly and prolific in some games, thrashing Zambia, Switzerland and Costa Rica. But then they were thrashed by Japan 4-0 in the group stage.

England coach Sarina Wiegman, who has already won the European championship a previous time with Holland, praised her team of fighters.

“I think with this team, there’s ruthlessness,” she said.

“Whether it’s up front or in defence, we really want to keep the ball out of the net, we really want to win. And we stick together and we stick to the plan. And it worked again.”

One of England’s goalscorers, Alessia Russo, was bullish about her team’s chances of overcoming La Rioja.

August 15, 2023, Auckland, New Zealand: 230815 Aitana Bonmati, Esther Gonzalez and Eva Navarro of Spain celebrate after the FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinal between Spain and Sweden on August 15, 2023 in Auckland. .Photo: Mathias Bergeld / BILDBYRÃ…N / kod MB / MB0694.fotboll football soccer fotball fotbolls-vm världsmästerskap vm fifa womens world cup semifinal semifinals spanien sverige a sweden spain 27 dam bbeng fotball vm verdensmesterskap kvinner women jubel (Credit Image: © Mathias Bergeld/Bildbyran via ZUMA Press)

“Yeah, why not?” she told the BBC.

Lucy Bronze – who plays football in Spain with FC Barca – acknowledged the threat that they will face in the final.

“Obviously, Spain’s going to be even tougher,” she said.

“I think every single game that we’ve [played] this tournament has been of the highest level, so we have to be ready.

“But we’ve been dreaming since we were little girls. We’re excited, we’ll get recovered and be ready.”


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