Lauren James dominates with England, USA edge their way to World Cup knockouts

Lauren James celebrates with Alex Greenwood after scoring a goal for England
Lauren James celebrates with Alex Greenwood after scoring England's third goal during the FIFA Women's World Cup vs China (Photo by Sarah Reed/Getty Images)

Lauren James set the stage alight for England in their stunning 6-1 win over China to punch their ticket into the World Cup knockouts. The Steel Roses bow out of the tournament, with Denmark progressing ahead of them.

Elsewhere, the USA struggled against Portugal but edged their way to the next round by one point. The Netherlands finished top of their group following their statement 7-0 win over Vietnam.

Vietnam 0-7 Netherlands

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Pulling off the biggest win so far, the Netherlands cruised past Vietnam to book their spot in the final 16 of the World Cup. With five goal scorers, the Dutch were utterly dominant throughout the game, with Vietnam unable to gain control of the ball for any meaningful length of time.

Lieke Martens and Katja Snoeijs made it 2-0 inside 11 minutes before Esmee Brugts, Jill Rood and Daniëlle van de Donk added salt to the wounds in the first half. After the break, both Roord and Brugts scored their braces, with the latter smashing home two world class goals.

The defeat saw Vietnam’s World Cup dream come to an end but progression from Group E was always a tough ask for the debutants. Despite failing to pick up a point from their three matches the team has made history by leading their country to its first Women’s World Cup.

The Netherlands will progress to the knockout stage as winners of the group. They runners-up of Group G in the next round, with Italy, South Africa, and Argentina all possible opponents.

Portugal 0-0 USA

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In a tightly contested match, neither team could break the deadlock as it ended in a goalless draw. The USA enjoyed the majority of chances however they lacked the clinical edge needed to break down a resilient Portugal side. The point was enough to see the USA through to the knockout stages as group runners-up.

For Portugal, their debut World Cup campaign has now come to an end and they will surely feel hard done by after their performance against the reigning champions. Despite their early exit from the competition, Francisco Neto’s side will return home with their heads held high. Holding the current world champions to a draw as well as claiming their first win at a World Cup, the team have proven themselves against some of the best in the world.

China 1-6 England

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A resounding 6-1 victory over China handed England their ticket to the knockout stage of the World Cup. Contributions from Alessia Russo, Lauren Hemp, Chloe Kelly, Rachel Daly and Lauren James saw the Lionesses enjoy an utterly dominant performance over the 1999 runners-up.

VAR once again played a large role in the game, disallowing James’ second goal before awarding a penalty to China. Wang Shuang stepped up and converted the spot kick, providing a consolation for the Chinese. James put in a phenomenal performance for the Lionesses with five goal contributions.

Read: Lauren James scores England wonder goal vs Denmark

The three points put England on top of Group D, having taken all nine available points. Sarina Wiegman’s side will face Nigeria in the round of 16. Having taken just three points from a possible nine, China finished third in their group, bringing their eighth World Cup campaign to a close.

Haiti 0-2 Denmark

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Wrapping up their group stage campaign, Denmark pulled off a slender victory over Haiti. A penalty to the Danes was converted by Pernille Harder to give her side the lead in the opening half. Despite enjoying the majority of possession, Denmark at times lacked the clinical edge to convert their chances.

A late second from Sanne Troelsgaard wrapped up the goalscoring action, ensuring the Red and White would progress to the knockouts.

Denmark finished second in Group D, three points behind England. Lars Søndergaard’s side will face co-hosts Australia after the Matildas topped Group B. Haiti’s maiden World Cup has drawn to its conclusion after the side failed to pick up a point in the group stage.

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