England overpower Colombia 2-1, face Norway next

Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:19pm EDT
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By David Ljunggren

MONTREAL (Reuters) - England punished some poor defending by Colombia to secure a fairly comfortable 2-1 win in their women's World Cup Group F game in Montreal on Wednesday and set up a clash with Norway in the next round.

England finished in second place on six points, behind France on goal difference. Colombia have four points and could still qualify as one of the four best third-placed teams.

England, ranked sixth in the world, took the lead in the 15th minute when Colombian goalkeeper Sandra Sepulveda fumbled a free kick and midfielder Karen Carney drilled the ball home from a tight angle.

Colombia's inability to deal with set pieces hurt them again later in the first half when Carolina Arias handled in the box after a free kick. Fara Williams easily scored from the penalty spot in the 38th minute.

England, who looked out of sorts when they lost 1-0 to France in the opening game, are an impressive blend of physical strength and speed, and advance as a genuine contender.

They will play an imposing and experienced Norwegian side in Ottawa on June 22.

"We have a lot of weapons we can use to potentially hurt the Norwegian team ... we feel we are building a real sense of momentum emotionally and on the field," said England coach Mark Sampson.

Less than 14,000 people turned up to watch the game in Montreal's Olympic stadium, where attendance has largely been disappointing. Colombian supporters outnumbered their English counterparts by about 10 to one but had little to cheer about in the opening 45 minutes.   Continued...

Jun 17, 2015; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; England players celebrate the victory against Colombia in a Group F soccer match in the 2015 FIFA women's World Cup at Olympic Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports