England beat Colombia 2-1 on Saturday to book their place in the semi-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup and line up a tie against co-hosts Australia

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World Cup diary: No fresh injury concerns for England

England star Lauren Hemp has hailed England’s performance against Colombia as ‘relentless’ and says they thrived off the packed-out crowd at Stadium Australia in Sydney.

Plenty was made of the loyal Colombia support at this World Cup and they certainly made themselves heard on Saturday with it very much feeling like a home game for the South American side. The Lionesses ‘ ability to thrive under such pressure will no doubt put them in good stead as they prepare for a semi-final tie against co-hosts Australia on Wednesday.

The first half against Colombia wasn’t quite as straightforward as Sarina Wiegman would’ve liked. The opponents took the lead through Leicy Santos but Hemp was there to put England back on level terms before the break.

Alessia Russo then fired the Lionesses in front in the second half and Hemp described the performance from the team as ‘relentless’ as they forced themselves over the line, despite the late onslaught from Colombia.

She told BBC Sport : “It was really important to go in half-time level. It was a scrappy goal but we take any that we can. You’ve always got to be alert in the box, especially as a number nine. It was a proper striker’s finish.

“We came out in the second half and were really relentless and Alessia (Russo’s) strike was a great goal which was really important for us. I had full faith in Alessia, she does that every week in the WSL (Women’s Super League) and obviously she’s bringing it to the world stage now which is unbelievable to see.

“As a group we showed the team that we wanted to today and hopefully in a few days we’ll do that against Australia.”

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England will now face Australia in the semi-finals after they dispatched France 7-6 on penalties in the earlier kick-off on Saturday. Both sides will be hoping to book themselves a spot in the final against either Spain or Sweden next Sunday.

“We’re all so excited. As a group we thrived off the amount of Colombian fans,” Hemp continued. “It just makes it so much more exciting so for me I can’t wait to get going against Australia.

“It’s going to be a packed out stadium with so many Australian fans but we know if we play at our best, we are unstoppable so hopefully we’ll be able to bring that.”