England spoiled co-hosts Australia’s party by booking their place in the Women’s World Cup final for the first time on a historic evening in Sydney.
Silencing a sell-out crowd at Stadium Australia, the Lionesses became the first English side since 1966 to reach the final on the world stage.
It caps a sensational two years under manager Sarina Wiegman as England, crowned European champions for the first time last year on home soil, showed their superiority and know-how to see off an Australia side spurred on by a nation who have been inspired by the Matildas’ success.
Ella Toone gave England the lead in the first half with a superb first-time strike which sailed into the top corner.
The Lionesses controlled proceedings until the second half when Australia threw everything at them and star striker Sam Kerr – starting her first match of the tournament – struck a 25-yard stunner over goalkeeper Mary Earps’ head to make it 1-1.
But England, as they so often do, found a way back into the game when Lauren Hemp pounced on a defensive error to restore their lead, before Alessia Russo made sure of victory late on to set up a final with Spain.