FIFA Women's World Cup: England inch closer to knockout stage after overcoming Denmark

Sydney, July 28 (IANS) European champions England edged Denmark 1-0 on Friday, inching closer to the knockout stage of the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup.

However, the victory in Sydney may have come with a significant toll for the Lionesses, viewed as title favorites. Star player Keira Walsh seemed to sustain a severe knee injury just before halftime.

The Barcelona midfielder twisted awkwardly while trying to intercept a pass, and she was visibly distressed as she was stretchered off the field, a Xinhua report said.

After a lackluster 1-0 opening win against Haiti, where a penalty kick was the only differentiator, there were doubts about England’s ability to put points on the board. But a proactive England responded to the critics with a high-energy start, punctuated in the sixth minute by a remarkable goal from Lauren James, who shot a bullet from outside the box.

The Lionesses displayed fluid passing skills, with James targeting a second goal, but Denmark remained resilient.

Having successfully warded off multiple attacks, Denmark finally had an opportunity in the 24th minute. However, Rikke Marie Madsen’s shot missed the target. Denmark found their groove, pressuring England’s defense, but they failed to equalize.

England surmounted Walsh’s absence to control the second half, but they couldn’t put Denmark away. Alessia Russo came close in the 71st minute with a determined run, but her shot drifted wide.

Denmark had late chances for an equalizer, their best effort being from Amalie Vangsgaard, who had previously scored a late winner against China in Perth, but her header struck the post.

A draw in the later Group D fixture between China and Haiti on Friday would be sufficient for England to advance to the round of 16.



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