Alessia Russo ‘buzzing’ after firing England into World Cup semi-finals

By Sports Desk August 12, 2023

Alessia Russo praised England for “keeping the dream alive” as they reached the semi-finals of the World Cup.

Lauren Hemp cancelled out Leicy Santos’ strike for Colombia before Russo scored the winner in a 2-1 win.

The Lionesses now face co-hosts Australia on Wednesday in the last four and Arsenal forward Russo was full of praise for her side’s performance.

She told ITV: “I’m buzzing, the semi-final of a World Cup, we’re keeping the dream alive.

“I’m buzzing, obviously Colombia are a top team and I think they’ve shown more than that this World Cup. It was a really tough test, but so happy to get three points and be in the semis.

“We’ve had to dig deep from the first game and that’s what it’s like, they have so many talented players who can cause you trouble within a second.

“But I thought our back line were brilliant tonight, we kept it locked down, won and now we’re in the semis.”

Hemp echoed her sentiments, saying the team were “really special” against Colombia.

“What an amazing feeling. I’m absolutely knackered right now, most of the team are,” Hemp told ITV.

“We put in a great performance. I think you saw the resilience in the squad and I’m so proud of this team.

“I thought we controlled most of the game to be honest, they had a few counter-attacks and we knew what they were going to bring and I felt we dealt with it quite well.

“Whenever we got the ball it looked like we were going to create something, I think the team were really special toady and long may that continue.”

However, Russo insists there is still plenty to work on ahead of the semi-final.

She said: “What makes this team great is we’re always trying to find ways to improve even after we’ve reached the semis. We’ve got lots to work on. We’ve got to get recovered, rested and go again.”

The Arsenal forward is relishing the chance to face Australia.

“It’s exciting, what more do you want?” Russo said.

“You want to play against the best teams and obviously they’re the hosts. I think Colombia had a great fanbase out tonight, so we’ve had a little taste, but I’m so excited.”

Hemp added: “I’m buzzing, it’s where you want to be. I want to play on the world’s biggest stages and obviously we’re here right now in the semi-final, I’m over the moon and can’t wait.

“The atmosphere here was incredible, it’s going to be incredible again, but sometimes that’s when you thrive and we thrived again tonight, so hopefully we’ll do the same again.”

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