We have a huge World Cup semifinal tonight as England attempt to qualify for their first ever Final, but will have to beat defending champions USA to get there.
The Lionesses were impressive in the quarters, easily dispatching Norway 3-0 with a stellar performance from Lucy Bronze, but now come up against a very efficient USWNT side that dumped the hosts France out 2-1.
Everton are well-represented at the tournament though only Inessa Kaagman of the Netherlands is on the current Ladies squad. Three Lionesses forward Nikita Parris is a Liverpool native and played for Everton from 2011 to 2015 (now with Manchester City); fellow forward Toni Duggan is also a Liverpool native and played for Everton from 2007 to 2013 before also joining City; midfielder Jill Scott played for Everton from 2006 to 2013 before also joining — you guessed it — Manchester City and fullback Bronze played for Everton from 2010 - 2012 before joining Liverpool and then onto.. yes you got it, City!
Former Everton captain and now England manager Phil Neville knows how good the Americans are, but is confident in his own side.
”The US are the best team in the world, their record is phenomenal, their coach’s record is phenomenal, but I never worry about anything or the opposition.
“We concentrate a lot on what we can do and how we can try to win a game. Our strengths, our values and our style of play and the way we want to play is the most important thing.
”We want to play a certain style in a World Cup semi-final - with the freedom and expression we have had the past five games.”
The USWNT are managed by Jill Ellis who was born in Portsmouth and moved to Virginia at the age of 15, and she credited her British roots for getting her where she is.
”I’m an American except when I’m in the supermarket or at the candy store. I grew up playing with boys in the schoolyard and my brother in the backyard. I had zero opportunity to play over here [in Europe] so that is what America gave me, an environment to put on my first team uniform in terms of soccer. I always loved sport, so it gave me a vehicle to experience it even more.
“I have a lot of fond memories of my life in England. I was a Pompey lass - I can’t say I supported Pompey all the time. I have been a Manchester United lass since I was seven. But so many fond memories, great people, I spent many a summer in Edinburgh so my whole British culture growing up is still with me for sure.”
The preparations for the game were marred by an unseemly incident with some members of the American coaching staff spotted in a secured area of England’s team hotel a few days ago, with none of them wearing official identification.
- England and USA have faced just once previously in the Women’s World Cup - USA winning 3-0 in the quarter-finals of the 2007 edition.
- USA have lost just one of their last five international matches against England (W3 D1 L1), with the most recent encounter between the two countries ending 2-2 in the SheBelieves Cup in March.
- England are in the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup for the second successive edition (2015); they had never reached the final four in the competition before this. The Lionesses lost 2-1 to Japan in 2015, conceding in the 92nd minute via a Laura Bassett own goal.
- USA have reached the semi-final stage in all eight of their Women’s World Cup tournaments, progressing to the final on four occasions, including each of the last two (2011 and 2015).
*(via Sky Sports)
Competition; Round: 2019 Women’s World Cup; Semifinals, Game 1
Date & Time: Tuesday, July 2, 2019, 12:00pm PST, 3:00pm EST, 8:00pm BST, 9:00pm local time
Venue: Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon, France
HOW TO WATCH, TV & LIVESTREAM
TV info: BBC One, BBC Red Button (UK), Fox, Telemundo (USA), TSN3, TSN4, TSN5, RDS (Canada), beIN Sports HD4, beIN Sports HD11, SuperSport 3 Africa
Stream info: BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport Live (UK), Fubo TV affiliate link*, NBC Sports Live Extra, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo, Fox Sports Go (USA), TSN GO, RDS GO (Canada),
Broadcast info courtesy of LiveSoccerTV
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