England cruise past Norway to reach Women’s World Cup semis

England advanced to another Women’s World Cup semi-final after beating Norway 3-0 in Le Havre.

Jill Scott put Phil Neville’s side ahead with a fine finish in just the third minute at the Stade Oceane, the earliest goal of the tournament so far and the fastest England have scored at any edition.

Ellen White, having hit the post just before the half-hour mark, made it 2-0 with a 40th-minute tap-in, taking her goal tally in France to five as she moved alongside the United States’ Alex Morgan and Australia’s Sam Kerr as the tournament’s joint top-scorer.

And Lucy Bronze then added a superb third in the 57th minute, smashing a shot past Ingrid Hjelmseth from just outside the box.

Norway, showing more threat in the second half than in the first, came close to pulling a goal back soon after when substitute Lisa-Marie Utland’s shot was cleared off the line by Steph Houghton.

England then had the chance to extend their lead with seven minutes of normal time remaining, but Nikita Parris’ penalty was saved by Hjelmseth – the second time in the campaign she has failed with an effort from the spot.

Neville’s team can now look forward to a last-four clash next Tuesday in Lyon against either hosts France or holders the United States, who meet in Paris on Friday night.

It is the third successive major tournament in which the Lionesses have made the semi-finals, following the runs at the 2015 World Cup and Euro 2017.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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