#U20WWC : Stanway brace buys England maiden semi-final

Photo: @joerdeli1

England have reached the semi-finals of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup for the first time after defeating Netherlands 2-1 in Vannes, reports TheFA.com.

They will face Japan (who beat Germany 3-1) at 3pm KO on Monday, 20th August.

Victoria Pelova put the Dutch ahead with a fine finish but Georgia Stanway hit a first-half brace to seal the Young Lionesses’ place in the last four.

Mo Marley’s side will now face Japan (3-1 winners over Germany) for a place in next Friday’s showpiece.

There was one change to the team that started Sunday’s 6-1 rout of Mexico with Georgia Allen coming in for the suspended Mollie Rouse.

Netherlands enjoyed more of the ball early on, the only spell in which they did so, and broke the deadlock after just 12 minutes.

A long ball forward by Danique Ypema sailed into the England box. Megan Finnigan watched it all the way and headed clear, but the ball fell to the unmarked Pelova who coolly side-footed the loose ball into the far corner from 18 yards.

England refused to panic and their composure was rewarded when Stanway turned the game on its head with two quick-fire goals.

Her first came on 20 minutes when she slipped in behind the Dutch backline, moved into the area and curled home left-footed to restore parity. The sides weren’t level for long.

Stanway was played in by Manchester City club mate Lauren Hemp and after the initial effort hit the foot of the post, she smashed home the loose ball to put the Young Lionesses in front.

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Marley’s charges were very comfortable in the main, with Netherlands not offering much in the way of an attacking force but Sandy MacIver had to be alert when Naomi Pattiwael got in behind Mayumi Pacheco, and the England keeper was out quickly to thwart.

Stanway came within a lick of paint of grabbing her hat-trick on the hour mark. After being found by Hemp once more, Stanway took the ball down and cracked a shot off the top of the crossbar.

She had another opportunity to add to her tally 10 minutes later but her whipped free-kick bent just inches wide of Lize Kop’s right-hand upright.

The woodwork got in England’s way for a third time when Finnigan headed a corner onto the bar.

Although England were unable to find a third goal their play had merited, they saw the game out comfortably and will now prepare for Monday’s semi-final.

England: 1 Sandy MacIver (Clemson University), 2 Anna Patten (Florida State University), 3 Mayumi Pacheco (Reading), 5 Grace Frisk (capt; University of South Carolina), 6 Megan Finnigan (Everton), 7 Alessia Russo (University of North Carolina), 8 Georgia Allen (Syracuse University), 9 Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), 10 Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), 14 Chloe Peplow (Brighton & Hove Albion), 16 Chloe Kelly (Everton).

Substitutes: 11 Niamh Charles (Liverpool) for Russo 84, 17 Rinsola Babajide (Liverpool) for Kelly 90+1.

Substitutes not used: 12 Ali Johnson (Unattached), 13 Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City), 21 Emily Ramsey (Manchester United), 15 Esme Morgan (Manchester City), 18 Taylor Hinds (Everton), 19 Charlie Wellings (Birmingham City), 20 Zoe Cross (University of Missouri).

Attendance: 2,737

📷 GALLERY: Click here for match gallery by @joerdeli1