Sports Desk, Jul 26 (EFE).- Tournament hosts England thrashed Sweden 4-0 Tuesday to secure their place in the July 31 final at London’s Wembley Stadium.
The Lionesses, who have reached the final on two previous occasions but never hoisted the trophy, will face the winner of Wednesday’s clash between eight-time champions Germany and first-time semifinalists France.
Sweden, the 2021 Olympic silver medalists, were the stronger team for the first 30 minutes of the contest at Bramall Lane in Sheffield.
Indeed, only a solid stop by England goalkeeper Mary Earps prevented Sofia Jakobsson from putting the Swedes ahead inside the first minute.
Earps was called upon again in the 8th minute to deal with a shot from Stina Blackstenius, whose shot off the ensuing corner kick hit the cross-bar.
The hosts began to have more of the ball and went ahead in the 34th minute on Beth Mead’s record-tying sixth goal of the tournament, which gave her a two-goal edge over Germany’s Alexandra Popp in the battle for the Golden Boot.
England doubled their advantage three minutes into the second half, as Lucy Bronze got her ahead to a nifty cross from Mead.
Super-sub Alessia Russo came in for the Lionesses in the 57th minute and was quick to make an impact, sending a great ball across the front of the six-yard box for Lauren Hemp, but the strike went off the woodwork.
Sweden reclaimed the initiative for a few minutes and it took a leaping, finger-tip effort from Earps to nudge a blast from Blackstenius over the bar in the 65th minute.
Two minutes later, England led 3-0 on a tremendous goal by Russo, who back-heeled the ball between the legs of Sweden keeper Hedvig Lindahl.
The 39-year-old keeper struggled again in the 77th minute, when she bobbled a chip shot from Fran Kirby, allowing it to roll behind her into the net to make it 4-0. EFE jjl/dr