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England through to last four
 Women's Football News 25 Aug 2013
 
England through to last four - 25 Aug 2013 - Women's Football NewsEngland 3 (Williams pen 33, Parris 85, Zelem 89)
Denmark 0

Two late goals secured England's place at the top of Group A and a semi final tie against Finland after overcoming Denmark at Parc y Scarlets. 
 
The result also means that Mo Marley's side have qualified for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup next year and they are now one match away from reaching the Final for the first time since 2010.
 
The opening period of the game was understandably cagey with both teams trying to make headway down the flanks.
 
Frederikke Thogersen was in lively form down the right for Denmark and one delicious far post cross picked out Sarah Hansen who should have done better with her header, failing to connect properly. Thogersen then found more space on the right after being found by Anna Fisker and her cross was headed over by Amalie Gronbaek Thestrup.
 
At the other end, Maria Christensen had to be quick off her line to deny Nikita Parris as she raced onto a good pass by Paige Williams but two minutes later the Everton winger was inches away from giving her side the lead. After Melissa Lawley's cross had flashed across the face of goal, Parris retrieved the ball and cut in, bundling past one challenge before striking her shot against the post.
 
However on 33 minutes, England had a glorious chance to take the lead. Beth Mead darted into the area where she was caught by a high boot from Hansen and a penalty was awarded. Williams stepped up and drove a firm shot to Christensen's left and into the corner to give her side the lead.
 
Denmark could have been level just a minute later though as Thogersen fed Thestrup in the area but she missed her kick from 15 yards and the chance was lost.
 
There was an anxious moment for England as Thogersen touched on Hansen's cross but Martha Harris did well to prevent the ball reaching Thestrup at the far post. The resulting corner, taken by Hansen, found its way to Fisker who drove her shot over the bar.
 
Denmark passed up another great chance in the opening five minutes of the second half, from another pinpoint Hansen corner which Larsen headed over the bar from close range.
 
Hansen then brought out a fine diving save from Durack, who did well to claim the resulting corner under pressure.
 
England attacks were becoming more sporadic at this stage as they chose to sit on their lead but the lively Parris was very close with a shot on the turn from the edge of the area after she had been picked out by Hannah Blundell's pass.
 
Durack was again called into action with a fine save from Camilla Andersen's curling effort but at the other end, following a foul on Mead, Christensen pulled off an even better stop when tipping Williams' well struck free kick onto the bar.
 
There was more good goalkeeping from Christensen as she made a smothering save from Mead but the Danish keeper could do nothing two minutes later. Blundell made a strong run into the Danish half and found Parris, who cut in diagonally and beat Christensen with a looping 25-yard shot for the second goal.
 
England pressed for a third and following good work by Jess Sigsworth, she set up Katie Zelem whose shot was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Christensen.
 
Increasing England pressure began to tell though and a vital third goal quickly came. Williams' corner picked out Zelem whose initial header bounced off the bar and Zelem kept her cool to nod home the rebound.
 
This was the goal England needed to take them top of group and a semi final date with Finland but Christensen needed to make another save to prevent another goal, keeping out another thumping free kick from Williams in injury time.

England: Lizzie Durack, Martha Harris, Paige Williams, Katie Zelem, Aoife Mannion, Meaghan Sargeant, Melissa Lawley (sub Hannah Blundell 64mins), Sherry McCue, Nikita Parris (sub Felicity Gibbons 89mins), Jess Sigsworth, Beth Mead. Subs not used: Megan Walsh, Felicity Gibbons, Jade Bailey, Natasha Flint, Abbey-Leigh Stringer, Ellie Stewart.

Denmark: Maria Christensen, Mie Jans, Stine Pedersen, Amalie Gronbaek Thestrup (sub Camilla Andersen 45mins), Stine Larsen, Anna Fisker, Frederikke Thogersen, Caroline Rask (sub Rikke Sevecke 45mins), Sarah Hansen (sub Nikoline Frandsen 71mins), Julie Jensen, Ida Karstoft. Subs not used: Trine Jensen, Kristina Andersen, Mille Poulsen, Julie Nowak.

Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:

(top) Paige Williams gives England the lead from the penalty spot
(bottom) Semi finals here we come! Sherry McCue, Paige Williams, Aoife Mannion and Katie Zelem are all smiles


 
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