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7 Things We Learned From The Women’s World Cup Semi-Finals

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With the Women’s World Cup semi-finals wrapped up, all eyes now turn to the final showdown between heavyweights Spain and England on Sunday.

The phenomenal tournament Down Under has thrown out plenty of surprises thus far, with the latest round of games proving to be no exception.

Here’s seven things to take away from the semi-finals, Spain vs Sweden and England vs Australia.

1.England continue to show strength and depth

Coming into the Australia and New Zealand competition, England looked less than convincing without two of their biggest Euros heroes in goalscorer Beth Mead and captain Leah Williamson, both of whom are out with ACL injuries.


Ahead of the group stages, they were bouncing back from a warm-up match loss to the Matildas - the only loss in Sarina Wiegman’s tenure - and were to face that same test in the Women’s World Cup semi-finals.

They passed that examination with flying colours, overcoming the hosts 3-1 in a game that further showcased beyond doubt the strength and depth of the team, as well as their ability to overcome adversity.

Previously they displayed how they could cope without Keira Walsh, and in this fixture, one of their recent standout players Lauren James was absent for the second successive time after she picked up a red card against Nigeria.


Wiegman has the team set up to adapt and overcome, changing formation and personnel where necessary. Alessia Russo and Ella Toone perhaps best exemplify this point, with the pair coming through with a goal each, alongside one from Lauren Hemp in the semi-final clash.

During their last Euros campaign, the duo mainly featured off the bench but have since solidified themselves as stalwarts for the Lionesses, dazzling in a team already full to the brim of stars.

2.Spain are still succeeding in spite of Vilda

Spain continue to progress in the tournament, but so too does the tension between the team and their manager, Jorge Vilda.


Ballon d'Or winner Alexia Putellas showed an example of the disdain when she was substituted off during their eventual 2-1 victory over Sweden, highlighting the dynamics in the La Roja camp in which they continue to triumph amid a background of controversy.

Even without some of their major players, who aren't present after they spoke of Vilda's controlling actions and made that clear to the federation, they've made it to their first Women's World Cup final and ignited somewhat complicated celebrations.

Presumably, a win in that final would further cement Vilda's position despite the squad's evident contempt for the 41-year-old, spurring many neutrals in world football to support whoever it was they would play against in a desire for improved setups throughout women's football.


3. If you didn't already know, Kerr and Gorry are icons 

Before the Women’s World Cup semi-finals, Chelsea forward Sam Kerr had only played around 90 minutes of tournament football as a result of the calf injury she picked up the day before the opening game vs Ireland.

During their clash against England, she started and completed the entire match, providing a moment of magic to drag the home side back into the match, and explaining why it is she's such a fan favourite.

Another Australian player held in high esteem is Katrina Gorry, who picked up her 100th cap in the same outing.

What was the most remarkable thing about her appearance however was that it fell exactly two years on from the birth of her daughter, Harper.


Centurion, leader, legend and mum, it was quite the occasion for the Vittsjö GIK player.

4.Wiegman’s formidable record is prolonged once again

Sarina Wiegman's record at England in all capacities is simply outstanding.

This 2023 World Cup is her fourth dabble at a major international tournament, and in each of those four, she's made the final.

She's the first manager in history to lead two different nations to a World Cup final, with the Netherlands falling just short to the USA in 2019.

Wiegman also has only notched one loss in her entire England tenure of 37 games, and following her latest Euros success will be hopeful they can go on to secure the World Cup accolade now.

5. Keepers are the story of the tournament?

All four of the Women’s World Cup semi-finals goalkeepers had their own storylines throughout the tournament, with Spain's Cata Coll and England's Mary Earps coming out on the winning sides to the disappointment of Australia's Mackenzie Arnold and Sweden's Zećira Mušović.

This came to the fore once again in the most recent round of matches.

Coll further solidified herself as Spain's No.1 despite not starting for her club side Barcelona and going without a game for 90 days,  staring down the barrel of shots from Fridolina Rolfo and Co. but coming out on top in the end.

Earps on the other hand fell victim to a goal from her kryptonite in Kerr once again but stopped the Australian and her teammates on many other occasions throughout the match, further emphasising her brilliance as well as the need for that to be recognised on the world stage.

6. Spain need to be more clinical

Recovering from her ACL injury, Putellas doesn't seem to be firing on all cylinders just yet, but nor do any of the Spanish side really.

Salma Celeste Parralluelo may be surging but the Spanish attack have yet to fully flourish and make that evident every time they take to the pitch.

Against Sweden they had 13 shots, with just two landing on target, albeit it came to be that those two were the decisive factors on the scoreboard.

England had them well contained in their Euros match-up at the Amex Stadium in Brighton last year, with the Lionesses emerging 2-1 winners.

If Spain are to claim a different fate on Sunday they'll need to capitalise on their chances and be more clinical, getting Putellas, Aitana Bonmatí, Mariona Caldentey and Jenni Hermoso back to top form.

7. It’s going to be a cracker of a final

Both Spain and England are known for their attacking firepower, so there's no doubt Sunday's game will be worthy of the occasion.

La Roja showed their true intent when they slotted away the winner just 90 seconds after Sweden had equalised in their semi-final, while Wiegman's squad testified to their character when they came out swinging against Australia right from the off.

Both sides have never reached this point before, depicting the growth of the women's game in that there will be a new winner of the World Cup for the first time since 2011, when Japan were triumphant over the United States in a thrilling final.

They'll each be aspiring to put the cherry on top of their outstanding run come Sunday.

SEE ALSO: 'Because Of This World Cup, People Have Changed Their Perception Of Women's Football'

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Carlsberg 00 is an official partner of the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team

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