Lauren James' face said it all after England beat Australia at Women's World Cup

Lauren James England Australia

Lauren James was delighted as England beat Australia at the Women's World Cup

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 17/08/2023

- 12:24

The forward was unable to play in the match due to suspension

Lauren James was prevented from playing for England against Australia on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old missed both that match and the victory over Colombia on Saturday having received a red card against Nigeria in the round of 16.

However, that didn't stop the 21-year-old from joining in the celebrations after goals from Ella Toone, Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo.

Pictures shared by the official Lionesses Instagram account showed James beaming from ear to ear.

England Lauren James Australia

England star Lauren James could return for Women's World Cup final after missing Australia win


The England star shared embraces with her team-mates in the tunnel after the game.

And it'll now be interesting to see if James starts for the Lionesses in the final, having served her two-match ban already.

The Chelsea forward was one of the stars of the tournament before her dismissal against Nigeria, which came following a stamp on Michelle Alozie.

James scored the only goal of the game as England beat Denmark 1-0 on matchday two of the group stages.

And the youngster also netted a brace as the Lionesses demolished China 6-1 to make it three wins from three.

There are, however, no guarantees James will return to the fold.

England have been coping well without the 21-year-old, overcoming Colombia and Australia in her absence.

And manager Sarina Wiegman may stick, rather than twist, as she looks to win football's biggest prize for the second time.

England star Keira Walsh was asked about James following her side's triumph.

Yet she opted to hail Toone, who has flourished in the side ever since coming into Wiegman's starting XI.

"Obviously people are going to speak about that but I think everyone has got to give Tooney credit," stated the Barcelona star.

"She has come back in and she has done an unbelievable job again.

"People probably won’t speak about it too much but it’s not easy to come in for a quarter-final or a semi-final when all the spotlight has been on the player’s place you are taking.

"I think tonight she was unbelievable. She tackled, she got stuck in, she took us up the pitch, she gave us a lot of security.

"LJ is a massive talent but I think we have got to put some respect on Tooney’s name as well. She has been fantastic."

Given Walsh plays her club football for Barcelona, she also believes Wiegman will ask for her advice on how to stop their Spanish players.

"I imagine so, I think she will," she added.

"But then the [Spanish] girls know about me and [Barcelona team-mate] Lucy [Bronze], so it works both ways.

"The Barca girls are obviously unbelievable players and I am sure whatever I say, they will probably come up with something different because they are very special players."

Spain made the final following a 2-1 win over Sweden on Tuesday.


England Ella Toone Australia

Ella Toone has flourished since replacing Lauren James and could start Women's World Cup final


The game looked to be heading to penalties following goals from Salma Celeste Paralluelo Ayingono and Rebecka Blomqvist, only for Olga Carmona to net a dramatic late winner in the 89th minute.

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