Soccer-‘Every kid’s dream’, Hemp hails ‘special’ England team

By Nick Mulvenney

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Lauren Hemp said England would be ready to go again on Sunday against Spain in the Women’s World Cup final after enjoying the euphoria of finally getting past the semi-finals by beating Australia on Wednesday.


The European champions exited in the last four at the last two World Cups but a goal and an assist from Player of the Match Hemp helped them to a 3-1 win over the co-hosts at Stadium Australia.

“Oh my god, what a feeling,” the 23-year-old forward told reporters. “I felt like there’s no words to describe what we all feel right now. It’s an unbelievable achievement. Getting to a World Cup final, it’s every kid’s dream.

“We’ve got a few days to recover. But then we go again. Because you want to win this obviously now we’ve got so far.”

England took a lead into halftime after a first-half goal from Ella Toone but the Matildas brought the 75,000 crowd back into the game when Sam Kerr scored a stunning long-range equaliser just after the hour mark.

Hemp soon put England back in front when she pounced on a defensive error before her stunning reverse pass put her strike partner Alessia Russo in for the third goal to kill off any chance of an Australia comeback.

“I feel like as a team, we’ve got such an inner belief or we’re so confident as a group no matter what happens on the outside, no matter who we come up against every challenge we’ve managed to solve,” Hemp added.

“Every game we’ve managed to come out on top and I feel like this team is so special. Obviously you seen last year how successful we were.

“We want to do the same again. You want to go one step further. And yeah, we’ve all got a dream and I feel like we’re really pushing each other to be the best that we can …”

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)