China PR 1-6 England - FIFA Women's World Cup match centre
- Wang Shuang (57′PEN)
- A. Russo (4′)
- L. Hemp (26′)
- L. James (41′) (65′)
- C. Kelly (77′)
- R. Daly (84′)
- L. Bronze (56′)
Highlights: China 1-6 England
See the best of the action from Adelaide as the Lionesses made it three wins from three games at the World Cup
The Lionesses made it three wins from three in their World Cup group stage with a comprehensive victory over China in Adelaide
China v England
FIFA Women's World Cup
12pm BST, Tuesday 1 August 2023
Hindmarsh Football Stadium, Adelaide, Australia
Georgia Stanway has stressed one of the most special things about this England Women team is they have 22 players who are all capable of stepping up when needed, as the Lionesses head into a group-deciding match with China on Tuesday.
Hugely influential midfielder Keira Walsh has been ruled out of the final Group D game in Adelaide after suffering a knee injury during the 1-0 win over Denmark on Friday, resulting in both head coach Sarina Wiegman and Stanway being asked about what it meant to the team during the pre-match press conference on Monday.
Wiegman was also asked for an injury update on Walsh, with the Lionesses boss stating she couldn’t provide any more information outside of what was stated over the weekend, with their focus on the crunch match with China.
Stanway said: “It is always difficult in that moment to see your team-mate but also my best friend go down in such pain.
“For the first seconds, she told me to get off but then we were laughing within a few minutes. The funny thing was the most embarrassing thing for her was that she got stretchered off. She wasn’t thinking about the knee, she was thinking about the whole nation watching her and that was what she was more anxious about!
“She is in good spirits, we have heard from her today and she is doing well. We just want to support her as much as we can.
“Like Sarina said, there are 22 players who have to step up and we are just excited for tomorrow.”
“We are in a good place. We have 22 players in the squad and everyone can step up at any moment and that is what is so special about this team,” she added.
England may have been victorious in their first two Group D matches but with both China and Denmark winning one match each so far, it means the Lionesses may need a draw to be certain of their qualification for the round of 16.
Speaking back in June, Wiegman acknowledged it is hard to predict before the tournament how good China are (see below).
But with China now having played two group matches, a 1-0 loss to Denmark followed by a 1-0 win over Haiti, Wiegman was asked what she thought of Tuesday’s opponents.
Wiegman said: “We have analysed China and it is a different team now to two years ago when I played them in the Olympics, and there is a different coach.
“They are well organised, they can play the possession game but can also play a direct style of play and we are aware of their players.”
Shootin' boots! 🔥— Lionesses (@Lionesses) July 30, 2023
She continued: “We expect a different game from our one against Haiti and Denmark. I think we had moments in both games where we played really well and we had moments where we lost the ball too much and they could counter-attack.
“That is one thing, we want to keep the patience and keep the ball going, keep the passing game in a good place to try to create chances and score goals. That is what we always want.
“The main thing is to keep control of the game as much as possible because sometimes that is hard.”
“We approach every game to win and that is what we will do tomorrow,” Wiegman concluded when asked if the approach will change due to England only needing a point to win Group D.
Stanway had faced members of the China squad during her years as an England youth international, with the Bayern Munich star following the players on social media, something which was highlighted by a journalist.
And Stanway said: “When you play against players in the youth age groups, you build connections and you build relationships.
“It is really exciting to see the players you played against five or six years ago progress and play in the same World Cup together. It is unbelievable and for China to be Asian champions and for those players to achieve that, it is heart-warming that they have had their journey as well.”
China in profile
Nickname: The Steel Roses
Coach: Shui Qingxia
Captain: Wu Haiyan
How they got here
Only once have China failed to qualify for a World Cup, and the 1999 World Cup finalists remain a formidable presence on the global stage. China qualified for the tournament after winning the 2022 Asian Cup in India, beating Korea Republic 3-2 in the final in Mumbai. Shui Qingxia’s side won the game courtesy of an injury-time penalty, which was converted by forward Xiao Yuyi.
Zhang Linyan was a relative unknown going into last year’s Asia Cup, but the striker – who is currently on loan at Swiss side Grasshopper Zurich – turned the game on its head for the Steel Roses, winning the penalty that pegged the score back to 2-1, and then scoring the equaliser. She also scored three times in the recent Swiss League play-offs.
China’s win in the Asia Cup was their first in the competition for 16 years, providing the biggest pre-World Cup boost imaginable. China have been testing their mettle against European nations in this year’s internationals, with 0-0 draws with Republic of Ireland and Switzerland, and defeats to powerhouses Sweden and Spain.
Sarina Wiegman's thoughts on China pre-tournament
“China are always hard to figure out because they've had very good games over the years, and then sometimes they drop their level a little bit.
“They have a new coach since the Olympics so when I played them in the Olympics with the Netherlands, I think they were really in transition then where they had lots of young players.
“They didn't play many matches internationally after the Olympics but they won the Asian Cup in February 2022, a year and a half ago.
“They played Spain and Sweden in Sprint and lost those games, but they have a mix of experienced players and some younger players.
“It's always hard to predict before the tournament how good they are. What we always know is that they try to have a long training camp before they go into a tournament. But they don't give away lots of information.”
● This will be the fifth meeting between China PR and England across all competitions and the first since October 2015 in the Dewellbon Cup (2-1 for China PR). The Asian side have lost just one of their five games against the Lionesses to date (W3 D1), with that loss coming in April 2015 (2-1).
● China have failed to score in each of their last four FIFA Women’s World Cup matches against European sides since beating the Netherlands at the 2015 edition.
● England have won their final group stage game at each of the previous five FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments they have appeared in.
● China PR have never lost their final group stage game at a FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament (W5 D2), although they have drawn their last two.
● England have scored in each of their last 15 matches at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, netting 25 goals across these games stretching back to 2015. Should they find the net in this game, they would be the first team to score in 16 consecutive matches in the competition.
● China won their last match against Haiti, despite Zhang Rui being sent off in the 29th minute; they were the first team to win a FIFA Women’s World Cup match having had a player sent off since Sweden against France in 2011. China haven’t won consecutive matches in this tournament since 1999 (5).
● England have won their last seven FIFA Women’s World Cup group stage matches, with six of those wins coming by a one-goal margin, winning 1-0 in both games in 2023. No team at any previous FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament has won all three group stage matches 1-0, while the two previous teams to win all three group matches by a one-goal margin were Sweden in 2011 and Japan in 2015.
● In their win against Haiti, China made 12 passes that broke the opposition’s defensive line, with Chen Qiaozhu (4) and Wang Shuang (3) accounting for over half of those.
● Lauren James became England’s second-youngest scorer at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in their 1-0 win over Denmark, aged 21 years and 302 days. No Lioness player has ever scored more than one goal at a major tournament while aged 21 or younger during the tournament.
● Lucy Bronze started her 15th match at the FIFA Women’s World Cup for England in their 1-0 win over Denmark on MD2, with only Jill Scott starting more often for the Lionesses (19). In the Denmark game, Bronze led the way for attempted shots (4), touches in the opposition box (9), duels won (9) and line breaking passes (16), as well creating the joint most chances (3) for the Lionesses.
Head to head
England's first meeting with China came in April 1991 when we shared a 0-0 draw during an international tournament in Varna, Bulgaria. Our second encounter also finished goal-less in an Algarve Cup clash in March 2005, which China won by 5-3 on penalties.
In total, England have played China five times in official games, winning one, losing three (including 2005 game) and drawing once. The nations also met in a pre-World Cup clash in Macau in August 2007 behind closed doors, but this match was an unofficial format game and is therefore not included in the official record books.
You can find details of our last three games below...
China 2-0 England
26 January 2007
China hosted a four nation tournament at the start of the year in which they hosted the FIFA Women's World Cup, with England travelling east to take part. Unfortunately, Hope Powell's team suffered defeat with Zhang Ying and Han Duan scoring the goals.
England 2-1 China
9 April 2015
Academy Stadium, Manchester
Goals from Jodie Taylor and Fran Kirby proved enough for the Lionesses to win their final game on home turf ahead of the 2015 FIFA World Cup in Canada.
England 1-2 China
23 October 2015
The Lionesses were visiting China to take part in the Dewellbon Cup, where they lost to the host nation by the odd goal in three. Eni Aluko was on the scoresheet for England, but Shuang Wang's first-half brace was enough to seal victory for China.
From the archive: England 2-1 China
A look back at when the nations met in Manchester ahead of the 2015 World Cup campaign
England Squad News
How to watch or stream
The 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup will be broadcast in the UK on BBC and ITV, with England versus China being shown live on ITV1 and ITVX, with kick-off at 12pm.
After 1-0 triumphs against Haiti and Denmark in their opening two games, the Lionesses needed just a point to seal top spot in Group D but a scintillating display saw them progress in style.
Alessia Russo struck early to put Sarina Wiegman’s side in front, and it was 3-0 before half time after Lauren Hemp’s strike was followed by a sublime finish from James.
China pulled one back early in the second half through Wang Shuang’s penalty, though a stunning volley from James restored England’s three-goal cushion, before Chloe Kelly and Rachel Daly rounded off proceedings late on.
England started on the front foot and it took less than four minutes for Russo to put the Lionesses in front.
And the Lionesses continued to dominate the contest, nearly adding a second when Russo’s low cross was superbly blocked by Lingwei Yao.
However, it was 2-0 before the half-hour mark, with captain Millie Bright winning back possession and feeding the ball to James, who in turn forwarded the ball to Hemp who slotted home with a low strike 15 yards out.
Shortly afterwards Lucy Bronze was also unlucky not to get her name on the scoresheet, slicing her rebounded effort just wide after her initial header came back off the post.
But James then scored her second goal in as many games as she placed home from 18 yards out, after Alex Greenwood pulled the ball back from a freekick.
England controlled possession at the start of the second half but it was China who had the first real chance of the half, Wu Chengshu’s long-range effort forcing a good save from Mary Earps.
And, following a VAR check, China were awarded a penalty after Bronze was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box following the resulting corner. Shuang made no mistake from the spot to pull one back.
That wasn’t it for England, with substitute Kelly taking advantage of a poor error from China ‘keeper Zhu Yu to easily slot the ball home and open her account for the tournament.
And there was yet more joy for the Lionesses in Adelaide, with Daly volleying home from close range to make it 6-1 and complete a fantastic evening.
Victory for England sets up a round of 16 meeting against Nigeria, which will take place next Monday.
Substitutes: 17. Laura Coombs for Stanway 46’, 3. Niamh Charles for Bronze 71’, 19. Beth England for Russo 71’, 18. Chloe Kelly for Hemp 71’, 10. Ella Toone for James 81’
Substitutes not used: 12. Jordan Nobbs, 13. Hannah Hampton, 14. Lotte Wubben-Moy, 15. Esme Morgan, 21. Ellie Roebuck, 22. Katie Robinson
Goals: Russo 4’, Hemp 26’, James 41’ 65’, Kelly 77’, Daly 84’
Cautions: Bronze 55’
China: 1. Zhu Yu; 2. Li Mengwen, 11. Shanshan Wang, 8. Wei Yao, 15. Chen Qiaozhu; 7. Shuang Wang, 16. Lingwei Yao, 13. Yang Lina, 19. Linyan Zhang; 17. Wu Chengshu, 14. Lou Jiahui
Substitutes: 21. Gu Yasha for Shuang 75’, 5. Wu Haiyan for Mengwen 75’, 9. Shen Mengyu for Chengshu 90+3’, 3. Dou Jiaxing for Yao 90+3’, 4. Linlin Wang for Jiahui 90+11
Substitutes not used: 12. Xu Huan, 22. Pan Hongyan, 6. Xin Zhang, 18. Tang Jiali, 20. Xiao Yuyi, 23. Gao Chen
Goals: Shuang (p) 57’