England edge closer to last 16 after James sinks Denmark but Walsh gets injured | Women’s World Cup 2023

Lauren James’ first World Cup goal was enough for England to maintain their 100% record in Group D with a win over Denmark at Sydney Football Stadium.

The Chelsea striker scored the opener in the sixth minute but England suffered a blow after 38 minutes when midfielder Keira Walsh was stretched out with an apparent knee injury and then appeared on the line touchdown with crutches.

James’ goal was England’s first from open play since April’s Finalissima at Wembley, while Denmark came within inches of a last-minute leveler when Amalie Vangsgaard’s header clipped the pole. England must now await the result of China and Haiti at the late kick-off to find out if they have progressed to the knockout stages with one game to spare.

Sarina Wiegman has stuck with the same starting line-up for every game of the Lionesses’ Euro 2022 winning campaign, but she shook things up against Denmark with two changes from England’s 1-0 win against Haiti.

James, who took over in that game on his World Cup debut, replaced Lauren Hemp on the left wing while Rachel Daly returned to a more familiar left-back role where she started every game at the Championships. Europe. That pushed Alex Greenwood into centre-back, leaving Jess Carter watching from the bench after starting against Haiti.

Wiegman’s decisions were almost instantly vindicated when Daly slid the ball past James, who passed Danish keeper Lene Christensen. Ella Toone nearly set James up for a second shortly after, but this time the 21-year-old could only make a low attempt into Christiansen’s arms.

Lauren James lets fly from outside the box to give England the lead
Lauren James lets fly from outside the box to give England the lead. Photograph: David Gray/AFP/Getty Images

With England largely dictating the game, Denmark’s first real chance for an equalizer came when Rikke Madsen collected the ball and swung to the right edge of the penalty area, but sent his effort in front of goal. Lars Søndergaard’s side picked up the pace with Janni Thomsen shooting over and former Chelsea striker and Danish skipper Pernille Harder turned down by Mary Earps. On the other end of the line, Lucy Bronze nodded at Chloe Kelly’s corner.

Then came what could be a devastating blow for Wiegman when Walsh slid to win the ball back and felt immediate pain when she stopped. The Barcelona midfielder asked for help from her teammates as she could be clearly seen saying to the team’s medical staff: “I did my knee.”

The Champions League winner, named player of the match in the Euro 2022 final, has been stretched and replaced by Manchester City’s Laura Coombs.

skip newsletter promotion