Today at the World Cup: Lucy Bronze admits England not happy with performances

By Sports Desk August 09, 2023

England are among eight nations still standing at the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand as preparations continue for their respective quarter-finals.

The last-eight fixtures begin on Friday when Spain play the Netherlands and Japan take on Sweden, while the Lionesses face Colombia after co-hosts Australia and France clash on Saturday.

Here, the PA news agency looks back at the first of two fixture-free days Down Under before the action resumes.

We’re not happy – Bronze

Lucy Bronze admitted England “are not happy” with their World Cup displays, but vowed the Lionesses will step up on Saturday against Colombia.

The European champions rode their luck to beat Nigeria in the last 16 on penalties and will be without Lauren James, who will serve at minimum a one-game ban after her dismissal on Monday.

Barcelona defender Bronze said: “We’ve built on every game, we’ve taken something from every game, whether that was the Haiti game that was physical, the Denmark game when we lost our key player in Keira (Walsh), the China game we changed the formation completely, (Monday) we had a red card.

“Everything that has been thrown at us, we’ve dealt with and moved forward. I don’t see many other teams who’ve had that adversity and if they had, I don’t think they’ve managed to overcome the way we have. At the same time, we are not happy with our performances.”

Matildas prodigy tipped for top

Australia’s Cortnee Vine says there is no limit to what team-mate Mary Fowler can achieve in the game and insisted she has not been surprised by the 20-year-old Manchester City forward’s stellar contribution.

Vine said: “She can just be amazing. I said to her before this tournament began that she’s going to have a fantastic tournament. She just has so much more to go and she’s still so young, I think we forget sometimes.

“She’s so mature and knows what she wants and is her own individual kind of person and when she gets on that field, you just see something special.

“I just think she’s going to keep growing from that. I can’t wait to see Mary keep going because she’s just killing it at the moment.”

Swedes wary of Japanese threat

Sweden pair Fridolina Rolfo and Zecira Musovic believe quarter-final opponents Japan have been one of the best sides in the tournament so far.

Japan edged closer to a second World Cup triumph on Saturday by beating Norway 3-1 in the last 16, having cruised through their group without dropping a point or conceding a goal.

Barcelona forward Rolfo said: “They have been great, I have to say that. They have been one of the best teams so far in the tournament. So we need to analyse them really well and need to have a good match plan.”

Chelsea goalkeeper Musovic added: “We know it will require a lot of hard work. I think Japan is maybe the most exciting and maybe the team who has impressed me the most so far.”

Post of the dayQuote of the dayWhat’s next?

Quarter-final: Spain v Netherlands, Wellington, Friday 2am.

Quarter-final: Japan v Sweden, Auckland, Friday 8.30am.

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