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  • Writer's pictureBethany Barker

Lionesses narrow win: records and injury concerns

A 1-0 win over Denmark leaves the Lionesses on the brink of qualifying for the last 16 after a much-improved performance.

Saturday 29th July 2023


Yesterday's game was the first meeting between Denmark and England in the World Cup although meeting prior at the Euros. The first half saw Chelsea forward Lauren James announce herself on the global stage after what turned out to be a vital stunning early strike from the edge of the box, six minutes into her debut world cup game, which was England's first shot on target in the game.

James continued to impress by providing creativity and unpredictability to show how deserving of a starting spot in the England team she can be, leading her to be voted player of the match as well. Her overall stats for the game were as followed:

Accurate passes


Dribbles completed


Shot Accuracy






However, an injury to Barcelona midfielder Kiera Walsh flattened the atmosphere of the 440,439 supporters who were set to worry after Walsh immediately gestured to the dugout, in what appeared to be her saying: "I've done my knee." At 38 minutes, Walsh- one of England's most crucial players this summer so far and throughout the 2022 Euros - was taken off on a stretcher whilst visibly in pain.

This morning it has been revealed that after a scan last night, Walsh has not suffered an ACL injury- unlike England teammates Beth Mead and Leah Williamson- but this has ruled her out of the final group match; this injury alongside multiple other injury concerns coming off of games raising the question of whether the WC squads should include 26 players in order to reduce player stress and to allow coaching staff to deal with injuries correctly.

Laura Coombs stepped into the midfield after Walsh left the pitch giving a more pressing effort on the Denmark back-line. This change saw her make her debut in a major tournament as well as have an England cap after eight years out of the international team.

Alongside Combs and James, Bethany England also made her World Cup debut coming on in the seventy-sixth minute to help more upfront; providing a close header in the eighty-second minute nearly extending England's lead.

Throughout the second half, Denmark continued to look for an equaliser, one coming close when substitute Amalie Vangsgaard- the goalscorer of Denmark's first group match- hit the post with a header from close range, not being able to test Mary Earps enough to gain an equaliser.

In a post-match interview, England manager, Sarina Wiegman stated "It's all about winning games of course. We also want to play well. But we never take anything for granted. We have to work really hard every time we play any game. We are really happy with the 1-0 in the end and that's what counts."

Denmark's tempo stepped up during the final ten minutes and the few minutes of stoppage time with Vangsgaard's close attempt but England managed to keep their clean sheet for the remainder of the game to give them the three points which lead to the familiar sound of England's fans singing "Sweet Caroline" at full-time.

After yesterday's game, England has now scored in fifteen consecutive WWC matches since a 1-0 defeat against France at the 2015 tournament in Moncton, thus equalling the all-time women's world cup record set by Norway (1991-1999). And after her goal, James- who made her World Cup debut- is now England's second-youngest scorer at a World Cup and the second-fastest goal of an England side at a WC.

England held a 71% possession throughout the game with 4/13 shots on target, Denmark's counterattack was increasingly threatening, especially through the second half which gave them 2/6 shots on target.

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