England into Last 16 at the Women’s World Cup

By Ros Satar

  • Karen Carney and Fara Williams put England in the driving seat
  • England finish second in Group F, behind France
  • Norway await in the knockout stage

England advanced into the Last 16 at the Fifa Women’s World Cup on Wednesday, after beating Columbia 2-1 in their last group match.

England were very much in control in the first half, going into the lead thanks to a goal from Karen Carney, following a free-kick from Steph Houghton. That was extended by a penalty score by Fara Williams, as she netted her 38th international goal.

In the second half though, England always looked under pressure, as they tried to hold on to the lead. With France having roared home five goals against Mexico, England needed a 3-0 win to top the group, but hopes for that were dashed as Lady Andrade scored in injury time.

Mark Sampson’s side nervously held themselves together but the goal difference put them behind France, with Columbia having also qualified after beating France earlier in the group stages.

He said, after the match: “Congratulations to the team. It was a game of two halves and we deserved more than what we got. We showed good character and maturity to see the game off in the second half. Colombia never really got behind us and apart from the goal, we managed them well. Overall another good team performance.”

Now the England team have to get their first win in the knockout stages, when they face Norway, ranked 11th in the world, five places below them. They do, however, avoid a potential quarter-final against the World No. 1 side Germany.

England will now travel to Ottowa with their Round of 16 match with Norway scheduled to be televised at 9pm BST, Monday 22 June.