England on brink of Women’s World Cup knockout stages after win over Denmark


England is on the brink of the knockout stages of the Women’s World Cup after beating Denmark 1-0 in the second group game of the tournament.

The Lionesses will book their place in the last 16 if China fail to beat Haiti in the other late kick-off match.

The women’s national side were ahead after just six minutes when Chelsea’s Lauren James, lifted the ball past diving Denmark keeper Lene Christensen.

England’s Lauren James celebrates scoring against Denmark

But England suffered a blow when Keira Walsh was taken off the pitch on a stretcher before half-time with a knee injury.

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The 26-year-old holding midfielder, who was a key part of the England team that won the Euros last year, crumpled to the floor at the Sydney stadium without contact in the 38th minute and immediately called for medical assistance.

She later appeared on the touchline using crutches.

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Speaking after the match, England goalscorer James told BBC Sport: “It was a dream, something I’ve been thinking about, but most importantly happy to help the team win.

“But as soon as it hit the net it was just a relief.

“(My team-mates) were really happy for me and to be fair, they said it before the game they had a good feeling about me today and I’m just thankful I’ve got good people around me.

“I’m calm all around on and off the pitch and I try to bring that to my game as well and today it showed that and helped.”

England’s Keira Walsh was stretchered off during the game

The fourth-ranked Lionesses, who defeated Haiti 1-0 in their opener, play China on 1 August in their final group game.

Denmark, who beat China 1-0 to kick off their campaign, play Haiti the same day.

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