England win to reach World Cup last 16

England will face Norway in the second round of the Women’s World Cup after victory over Colombia ensured they qualified second in Group F.

Mark Sampson’s side established control early on and went ahead when Karen Carney scored from close range following Steph Houghton’s free-kick.

By the break England were 2-0 up as Fara Williams slammed home a penalty for her 38th international goal.

Lady Andrade scored in injury time to give England a few nervous moments and although Sampson’s side held on, they missed out on top spot on goal difference after France beat Mexico 5-0 in the other Group F match.

England will face a sterner test in the second round against Norway, ranked five places below them at 11th in the world, in Ottawa on Monday.

But at least having finished second in their group, Sampson’s side have avoided a potential quarter-final tie against world number ones Germany.

Colombia had already qualified for the second round after reaching four points going into Wednesday’s game but England were more energetic than in their previous matches and they capitalised on a succession of free-kicks conceded by their robust opponents.

Led by the effervescent Carney, who was one of five changes after her goal off the bench in the 2-1 win over Mexico, England took the lead after 15 minutes.

They faced some hostile Colombian support, with the South American nation’s fans making up the vast majority of the 13,862 crowd inside the 60,000-seat Olympic Stadium.

But former England skipper Casey Stoney – one of the five changes – could easily have put her side ahead with a well-worked corner routine two minutes earlier, before Carney fired in after Sandra Sepulveda had parried Houghton’s free-kick.


Another Houghton free-kick led to England doubling their lead. Colombia failed to clear and Toni Duggan’s effort hit Carolina Arias’s arm, with the referee pointing to the spot.

England’s record cap holder Williams made no mistake on her 144th appearance.

Colombia had threatened through the trickery of Andrade, and Arias almost made amends before the break when Karen Bardsley was quickly out to save the full-back’s shot.

As England became less of a threat in the second half, the team ranked 28th in the world began to take more control of the game.

And, after England substitute Lianne Sanderson had hit the post, they finally got on the scoreboard deep into injury time when Andrade looped the ball over Bardsley.

Sampson’s side were buoyed by the introduction of striker Jodie Taylor, who has been recovering from injury, meaning they have now used all 20 outfield players in the group stages.

After a stuttering start to their campaign, England appear to be gaining momentum at just the right time.

In the group’s other game, France had little trouble seeing off Mexico, who finished bottom of the standings, with Marie Laure Delie opening the scoring after just 35 seconds.

Eugenie Le Sommer scored a brace while a Jennifer Ruiz own goal and Amandine Henry’s superb drive completed the dominant win for the group winners.