England’s ‘fairytale’ journey to Women’s World Cup final gets royal seal of approval

England players celebrate taking the lead in their semifinal against Australia.
CNN  — 

No matter what happened in Wednesday’s semifinal, history was going to be made one way or another inside Stadium Australia.

Neither Australia nor England had ever reached a Women’s World Cup final and it was the latter’s aspirations which were realized in the end.

The Lionesses looked brilliant against the co-host and fully deserved their 3-1 victory, setting up a title-deciding clash against Spain in the process.

Although reaching a World Cup final was new ground for all the England players, it was familiar territory for their head coach.

Sarina Wiegman is a specialist in major tournament success and is now the first coach, male or female, to reach a World Cup final with two different nations having already done so with the Netherlands in 2019.

It’s not just at the World Cup that Wiegman has enjoyed success. The 53-year-old also led the Netherlands and England to European Championships glory in 2017 and 2022 respectively.

When asked how she felt about building on her already remarkable record, Wiegman said it felt like she was “in the middle of a fairytale.”

“I can hardly describe how proud I am of the team, they’ve adapted before the tournament, during the tournament and now in this game again. How we came through and found a way to win again, it’s so incredible,” she told reporters.

“This team has ruthlessness. Whether it’s up front or in defense, we really want to keep the ball out of the net, we really want to win and we stick together and we stick to the plan, and it worked again.”