Interview

Women’s World Cup: Fran Kirby is ready for the USA

Today England meet reigning champions, the USA, in the World cup semi-final at Stade de Lyon and we heard from Fran Kirby ahead of the mouth-watering fixture.

The Lionesses have now progressed to three consecutive semi-finals in major tournaments after seeing off Maren Mjelde, Maria Thorisdottir and Guro Reiten’s Norway last Thursday in the quarter-final. England produced a ruthless performance and put three past the 1995 champions without reply.

Kirby shared her thoughts on the last-eight clash with the official Chelsea website.

‘I think it was a really positive performance and it was a very clinical performance,' she said.

'I knew it was going to be an even game when we started, if you look at the stats, 50 per cent possession, so yes it was a really nice game for us obviously.’

England will expect another even match when they go head-to-head with the three-time champions, and although their attacking prowess must be on their A-game, the defence must be as well when they come up against golden boot contenders Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan.

‘I thought KB [Karen Bardsley] has been amazing the whole tournament, our defence are amazing, Steph clearing off the line [against Norway] and it’s the little moments that win you games of football,’ Kirby said.

The previous encounter between the two sides ended in a 2-2 draw during England’s triumphant SheBelieves campaign, which is the closest England have ever been to stealing the victory from the powerhouse of women’s football.  The Chelsea forward is relishing today’s occasion and said: ‘It’s really exciting, to be the best you have got to beat the best – we have to focus on ourselves, it’s going to be a hard game, but we know that.

‘As you get further in the tournament it's another step up, and we rose to it [last game], and we know that it’s going to be another step up, so we need to make sure that we are ready, and we will be ready.’

The USA have netted 22 goals so far and scored within 15 minutes of every game in this tournament, so the opening stages of the match will be vital in determining how the game could potentially pan out.

The match gets underway at 8pm UK time, and live coverage will be shown on the BBC.

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