England showed great resilience and togetherness to come back from a goal down to beat Colombia 2-1 and reach the Women’s World Cup semifinals, coach Sarina Wiegman said on Saturday.
England conceded in the 44th minute to a cross-shot from Leicy Santos but equalised in first-half stoppage time and went ahead through Alessia Russo after the hour mark to complete the turnaround and set up a last-four meeting with Australia.
It was the first time Wiegman’s side had trailed in this tournament and no other team had progressed from the knockouts after conceding until the Lionesses dug deep and roared their way back, much to their manager’s delight.
“I think the team again showed some resilience and a lot of togetherness. And yeah, I’m just really proud again of the team,” the Dutch coach told a press conference.
“As a team, I think we did a great job. But at moments they had some crosses that were very dangerous and I think how we got them (the defenders) to solve that (worked) really well.”
Wiegman praised opponent Colombia, playing in its first World Cup quarterfinal, and said England had to be alert to deal with their counter-attacking threat which kept the match on a knife edge until the final whistle.
The South Americans, runners-up in last year’s Copa America, were roared on by a loud and large contingent of fans in the 75,784-strong crowd at Stadium Australia.
England faces an even more intense atmosphere on Wednesday in their semifinal against co-host Australia when the Lionesses will look to reach their first World Cup final.
Wiegman conceded she might have to learn more about the historic Australia-England rivalry after fielding multiple questions about the intense hype that will surround the last-four clash.
“I just think it’s going to be really big. But now I’ve had a couple of questions about that, so it’s probably going to be bigger than I imagined,” the 53-year-old said, smiling.
“So I’ll talk to my players and staff and see what that rivalry means.
“Of course, we’ve played Australia in April,” she added, referring to the 2-0 defeat that was Wiegman’s first loss as England manager since being appointed in September 2021.
“So we know them and now we’re just really happy that we’re through. So tomorrow we start to prepare for the Australia game.”
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