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England 3 (Scott 3, White 40, Bronze 57)>
England 3 (Scott 3, White 40, Bronze 57)
England swept in to their second World Cup semi final after running out impressive 3-0 winners over Norway in Le Havre.
England never looked back after taking an early lead and although there were one or two shaky moments after the break and a penalty was missed late on, goals either side of half time ensured a comfortable passage to Lyon.
If England had gone into the game wanting a fast start, their prayers were answered with just three minutes on the clock. In their first meaningful attack, Lucy Bronze broke down the right and got past Kristine Minde before cutting the ball back from the line. Ellen White completely missed her kick at the near post but Jill Scott was handily placed to stab a shot past Ingrid Hjelmseth and in off the far post.
A similar move ended with Nikita Parris shooting wide from close range and White almost added a second from Keira Walsh's chipped pass, firing her shot against the post.
However five minutes before half time, White was to make no mistake and double England's lead, tapping in from point blank range after being set up by Parris.
Any Norwegian hopes of a comeback after the break were blown away just before the hour. Four years ago, Bronze scored a spectacular goal to knock Norway out of the competition and she repeated the feat once again with a fizzing strike which soared past Hjelmseth before she was able to move.
Norway, to their credit, did not give up and had their best spell of the game at this point with last ditch defending saving England on more than one occasion. None moreso than when a poor back pass by Millie Bright was seized on by Lisa-Marie Utland who got past Karen Bardsley but her shot was blocked on the line by the covering Steph Houghton.
It could have been four with five minutes remaining when Houghton was brought down in the penalty area by Maria Thorisdottir and a penalty was awarded. Parris stepped up but saw her kick bring out a good save from Hjelmseth, the second successive penalty kick that the winger has seen her shot kept out.
This did not detract from England's best performance of the tournament so far and leaves them one victory away from reaching a major Final for only the third time.
Norway: Ingrid Hjelmseth, Ingrid Moe Wold (sub Skinnes Hansen 85mins), Maria Thorisdottir, Kristine Minde, Karina Saevik (sub Lisa-Marie Utland 64mins), Maren Mjelde, Ingrid Engen, Vilde Risa, Isabell Herlovsen, Caroline Graham Hansen, Guro Reiten (sub Amalie Eikeland 74mins).
England: Karen Bardsley, Lucy Bronze, Demi Stokes, Keira Walsh, Steph Houghton, Millie Bright, Nikita Parris (sub Rachel Daly 88mins), Jill Scott, Ellen White, Fran Kirby (sub Georgia Stanway 74mins), Toni Duggan (sub Beth Mead 54mins).
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