The Lionesses, England’s Women’s team, went into the group stage of the 2023 World Cup in good spirits and they were one of the favourite nations to lift this year’s trophy and build on their earlier European Championship success.
Arsenal fans clearly have a stake in the competition as a number of our ladies are out representing their countries right now, and although England have not enjoyed a stellar group D campaign so far (a 1-0 victory over Haiti and a 1-0 victory over Denmark) that small core of commentators who had begun doubting them have been left easting a few words after they absolutely humped China 6-1, to take three wins from three and put themselves through to the Last 16 with the full nine points.
For those fans who enjoy a small flutter, Sarina Wiegman’s side were 7/2 favourites to begin with, with only the United States side ahead of them a 9/4 but after this performance, tied to the USA struggles in group E where they only managed to take victory over Vietnam, then earning two draws against Netherlands and Portugal, those odds and betting deals at the best UK gambling sites (per British Gambler) could well change quite dramatically in the coming days.
As for Gooners interest in the tournament, Alessia Russo’s development kicked on further against China. The 24 year old bagged her first goal at a World Cup after only four minutes of the game had been played, before Lauren Hemp added a second. Lauren James helped herself to a brace before Chloe Kelly and Rachel Daly made it six.
It is Nigeria next and they are one step closer to success. If Russo continues her clear development and builds on her European Championship performances at this World Cup, she should return for her first season for us in absolutely great form after finalising her switch from Manchester United prior to the tournament kicking off.
She clearly enjoyed her maiden World Cup strike, taking to social media after the full time whistle to post.
“Special night in Adelaide! Top of the group! Buzzing to have scored my first World Cup goal! Now onto the round of 16. We keep building.”
Kathrine Kuhl’s Denmark made it out of the group stages for the first time since 1995 as they took a 2-0 win over Haiti to ensure they finished in second spot in their table. The Danes progress through to a last 16 meet with Australia where Kuhl could face off against Arsenal team mates Steph Catley and Caitlin Foord.
2019 champions, Netherland’s, progress through to the next stage for the third time in a row after Victoria Pelova more than played her part in helping them to clinch top spot in the group, ahead of favourites the USA, with a 7-0 thrashing of Vietnam. Pelova was replaced at half time with the score already reading 5-0.
With a second place finish for the favourites, they now potentially line up against group G side Sweden if they can top their own group. That would, of course, mean a meeting with Arsenal trio Stina Blackstenius, Amanda Ilestedt and Lina Hurtig.
Would be nice for an Arsenal-dominated final to be the outcome.
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