England Beats Colombia But Fails To Top France
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England Beats Colombia But Fails To Top France

It wasn’t a loss to Colombia that cost England’s football team top spot in their group but instead goal differential.  The Three Lionesses scored a 2-1 victory over Colombia to move past the Central American team in the group standings, but France’s 5-0 thrashing of Mexico allowed the French side to take top spot in the group.

England expected a tough game against Colombia, who surprised critics early in the World Cup by scoring a 2-0 shutout win over France earlier in the stage.  Despite the shakeup of the group standings, England coach Mark Sampson was still betting on his girls to take the win.

England quickly took control of the match with ball possession firmly on their side.  Captain Steph Houghton earned a free kick in the first 15 minutes of the game, but her shot was blocked by Colombia’s keeper Sandra Sepulveda.  But Karen Carney, who pulled through a slight injury in the game against Mexico, drilled the rebound past Sepulveda’s reach to put the Lionesses in the lead.

The two sides exchanged possession of the ball for the next 20 minutes before England was granted another scoring opportunity.  Midfielder Fara Williams was granted a free kick after drawing a penalty, and she connected on her shot to put her team up by two heading into the half.

When the two teams returned to the pitch, England held off a resurgent Colombian side.  With only a few moments left in the game, Colombia’s attacking midfielder Lady Andrade slipped a shot past Karen Bardsley in net to narrow the gap to one goal.  Colombia continued pressing in the final minute, but were unable to connect a second time.

The Lionesses celebrated their win, and found reason to be optimistic about finishing second in the group behind France.  The winner of Group F was drawn into the bracket opposite the winner of Group B, which happens to be Germany – the number one bet to win the tournament.  That means France and Germany will likely meet in the quarterfinal round, a potentially dangerous meeting for any team that is not Germany.

By finishing second in the group, England avoids a meeting with Germany until the championship match, if both teams qualify for the end.  However, the Lionesses will have their work cut out for them on June 22nd when they face former World Cup champions Norway.  Only one team will survive to see the quarterfinal round.

Can England’s best female footballers continue on to claim their first World Cup trophy?  The championship game is on July 5th, and time will tell if one of the two contending teams happen to be Lionesses.

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