LE HAVRE (FRANCE), June 28: England�s women have their sights set on ending their semifinal curse after a stunning strike by Lucy Bronze helped Phil Neville�s team to a 3-0 win over Norway in Le Havre and took them into the last four of the World Cup.
David Beckham was among the crowd at the Stade Oceane to see midfield stalwart Jill Scott open the scoring inside three minutes of this quarterfinal, becoming just the second English player to score at three separate women�s World Cups on Thursday.
Ellen White grabbed her fifth goal of the tournament five minutes prior to half-time and Bronze made sure of the victory with a rising shot high into the net as the hour mark approached.
England were so comfortable towards the end that they could even afford to squander a penalty, Nikita Parris having her late spot-kick saved.
There were striking similarities between Bronze�s effort here and her goal that gave England a 2-1 win over the same opponents at the 2015 World Cup.
The Lionesses went out of that tournament in the semifinals and also fell in the last four at Euro 2017. Now they will hope to go a step further, although a daunting challenge awaits against hosts France or holders the United States in Lyon next Tuesday.
�We are a team that has lost in the semifinals of the last two major tournaments and I suppose the main reason I was brought into this job was to get us through a semifinal,� Neville said.
�What I said to them at the end, and I am not ashamed to say it, was �are you ready to win a World Cup�, because we are in it to win it and I think we are in good shape.�
France and the USA meet in a blockbuster quarterfinal in Paris on Friday, but Neville insisted his team are not afraid of what awaits them next.
�Both teams hold no fear for my players. We actually said when we qualified against Japan that we were in the best side of the draw because of this semifinal.
�My players and I want the biggest games and this will be the biggest game of the World Cup.� � AFP