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Wiegman admits she needs to brush up on England-Australia rivalry
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Rachel Steinberg
Press Association
Sarina Wiegman has taken England into the World Cup semi-finals
Sarina Wiegman has taken England into the World Cup semi-finals

Sarina Wiegman admitted she was unaware of how big the rivalry is between England and Australia after Alessia Russo set up a World Cup semi-final showdown.

The Lionesses fell behind after 44 minutes of their last-eight contest in Sydney when Leicy Santos looped the ball over England keeper Mary Earps.

But Lauren Hemp pounced on an error from Colombian keeper Catalina Perez before the break and Russo completed the comeback with a fine low finish from Georgia Stanway's delivery.

The 2-1 result was enough to book England a third trip to a World Cup final four — an encounter that has already drawn comparisons to the Ashes.

Asked if she was aware of the rivalry between the two countries, Wiegman replied: "I just think it is going to be really big, but I've had a couple of questions about that now so it's probably going to be bigger than I imagined now.

"So I'll talk to my players and staff and see what that rivalry is then. 

"I think the Australians and English can get along really well, and we've had such a warm welcome here, we’ve really enjoyed our time here in Australia, and I actually really like the people here. 

"But that doesn't mean there's no rivalry, so we'll see that Wednesday."

In April, Australia became the only side to have beaten England under Wiegman’s now nearly two-year tenure when goals from Sam Kerr and Charlotte Grant fired the Matildas to a 2-0 victory at Brentford.

Bethany England, who came on as a substitute for the third time this tournament, believes the raucous Colombia crowd is the perfect dress rehearsal for Wednesday’s semi-final against the co-hosts.

She said: "I think the atmosphere is going to be amazing. I thought the crowd tonight was incredible. 

"Every time we touched the ball they were booing but I think you just relish it because these are the atmosphere you want from stadiums. The Australian fans are going to bring a nice big bit of noise through.

"We've been in this situation where we've had a lot of noise. The Euros last year at Old Trafford, Wembley. It's nothing these girls aren't used to now. We are getting in more and more in the women's game."


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