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Lauren James leads England to dominant victory in Women’s World Cup

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England´s forward #07 Lauren James (L) celebrates scoring her team´s third goal during the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women´s World Cup Group D football match between China and England at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide on August 1, 2023.
England´s forward #07 Lauren James (L) celebrates scoring her team´s third goal during the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women´s World Cup Group D football match between China and England at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide on August 1, 2023. 

Lauren James delivered a sensational individual performance that propelled England to a resounding victory against China, securing their place in the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup as group winners. 

The European champions showcased their prowess in a captivating match in Adelaide, with James shining brightly once again, scoring two exceptional goals and providing three assists.

The 13,497 enthusiastic spectators were treated to a masterclass from Chelsea’s star player, Lauren James, who had previously announced her arrival at the World Cup with the match-winning goal against Denmark. She demonstrated her class early in the game, setting up Alessia Russo for the opening goal and later supplying a perfect through ball to Lauren Hemp, who calmly placed it into the bottom corner.

England’s dominance continued, and James’s brilliance was on full display as she fired a precise shot from the edge of the box to make it 3-0. Her prowess was further evident when another exceptional finish was disallowed by the video assistant referee (VAR) for offside in the build-up.

With their World Cup hopes on the line, China responded with determination in the second half, unnerving England slightly when Shuang Wang scored from the penalty spot following a VAR decision on a handball by defender Lucy Bronze.

However, James was far from finished, volleying Jess Carter’s deep cross past the helpless goalkeeper Yu Zhu for England’s fourth goal. Substitute Chloe Kelly and striker Rachel Daly joined the scoring party, completing England’s dominant performance.

Having quietly navigated through the group stages with underwhelming 1-0 victories against Haiti and Denmark, England made a powerful statement with this emphatic win. Their performance raises expectations ahead of their last-16 match against Nigeria, scheduled to be broadcast live on BBC One at 08:30 BST.

China’s journey in the tournament comes to an end, as Denmark secured second place in Group D with a victory over Haiti.

Manager Sarina Wiegman demonstrated her tactical acumen by deploying England’s attacking talent effectively in the absence of injured midfielder Keira Walsh. James dazzled with her magic and unpredictability, while Hemp’s pace tested China’s defense, and captain Millie Bright was a force to be reckoned with in her relentless tackling.

James, who garnered attention after the win against Denmark, continued to impress against China, earning a standing ovation from the crowd as she left the pitch. Her stellar performance and direct involvement in five goals in a Women’s World Cup game make her a standout player for England and a rising star in women’s football.

With tough competition for attacking positions in the starting XI, James has proven her worth and emerged as a key player for England in the Women’s World Cup, signaling a bright future for the talented 21-year-old.

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