The Lionesses entered the competition with the title in mind, in the wake of the European Championship won at home.

And the path to the final cleared after this victory against the Danes, in front of the Sydney Football Stadium, almost full (40,000 people), repeatedly shouting "England".

England will get its ticket to the knockout stages if China, Asian champions, do not beat Haiti, led by striker Melchie Dumornay, new recruit of Olympique Lyonnais, in the wake Saturday in Perth (13:00).

England and Denmark, at the top of Group B, were battling each other for first place in the group.

After a complicated start against China, the English, led by captain and defender Millie Bright, had to fight against Lars Sondergaard's Denmark.

It was necessary to count on the dynamism and impact of the striker Lauren James, author of a beautiful curled strike, too precise for the Scandinavian goalkeeper at the very beginning of the match (6th). His second goal for England in thirteen caps.

The English midfielder on the ground and injured during the World Cup match against Denmark on July 28, 2023 in Sydney © FRANCK FIFE / AFP

During the first half, the Chelsea player was the most impactful in the Danish defence, especially with her centres and strikes (12th, 20th, 21st).

Walsh, stretcher ride

After a rhythmic start to the match, the players of coach Sarina Wiegman were then jostled by the Danes, who almost came back thanks to a shot from Rikke Madsen, too crossed (24th).

Captain Pernille Harder, who has just signed for Bayern Munich after three seasons at Chelsea, also tried but crossed too much her strike (28th).

The first half of the English was overshadowed by the injury of midfielder Keira Walsh, hit in the knee and taken out on a stretcher. She then appeared on a crutch.

The Lionesses already have to do without several starters because of a rain of injuries, including knee injuries: captain Leah Williamson, Fran Kirby and Beth Meads.

In the second half, the pace slowed down significantly and the number of chances too: the English did not manage to take cover, despite the acceleration of Lauren James or the powerful strike of Alessia Russo, next to the frame (72nd).

England's Rachel Daly (l) and Denmark's Janni Thomsen wrestle for the ball at the Women's World Cup on July 28, 2023 in Sydney © FRANCK FIFE / AFP

Denmark, who last reached a World Cup in 1995, pushed late in the game, but the English defence did not crack, helped by their post (87th) as goalkeeper Mary Earps was beaten.

© 2023 AFP