In an eventful day of Women’s World Cup semi-finals, Arsenal are now guaranteed either two or five World Cup finalists.
In the early kickoff, Steph Catley again captained Australia with Caitlin Foord starting on the left wing. Both played the full 120 minutes in a 0-0 draw with France.
The match went to penalties, Caitlin Foord converted hers, Steph Catley missed hers but it was academic as the Matildas won 8-7 on penalties to go through to the semi finals.
In the second semi final between England and Colombia, Alessia Russo again led the line with Lotte Wubben-Moy on the bench. England went behind but Lauren Hemp equalised before Russo’s second half winner carried England into the semis.
That means Foord and Catley’s Australia play Russo and Wubben-Moy’s England in the semi final on Wednesday. While Tuesday’s semi final sees Blackstenius, Ilestedt and Hurtig of Sweden take on Spain.
This also means that a minimum of seven of the 15 Arsenal players who went to Australia and New Zealand are going the distance since there is also a third place playoff. It likely means Arsenal will have little choice but to field several players who will have little to no holiday before Arsenal’s UWCL qualifier against Linkoping on 6 September.
This is because UEFA and FIFA did not collaborate on dates for the calendar and the decision was taken to start the World Cup far later than usual on 20 July.