England’s World Cup semi-final preparations have reportedly taken a hit after Australian media used a helicopter to ‘spy’ on Sarina Wiegman’s side. England are the strong favourites to progress to the World Cup final against Spain.
But they will face a hostile reception inside Stadium Australia on Wednesday morning UK time. Australia have been buoyed by the home support, reaching the semi-finals of a World Cup for the first time in their history.
Goalkeeper Alanna Kennedy has been a huge part of their success with Australia keeping four clean sheets in their five games so far. England are still the favourites to make it through to Sunday’s final and Australian media have seemingly tried to get under Wiegman’s skin.
The Australian Daily Telegraph have sparked a spygate row on the eve of the semi-final clash after bragging about sending a helicopter to take pictures of England’s training session. “If England’s Lionesses thought they would happily fly under the radar into the World Cup semi final under the radar they were in for a rude shock,” boasted the Australian Telegraph.
“We’ve sent the chopper up to see how the old enemy are preparing… Welcome to the jungle, Lionesses, we’ve got fun and games.” The newspaper also went on to mock England as ‘moral arbiters’ following the men’s Ashes cricket series last month.
There was huge controversy in the second Test of this summer’s Ashes series when Alex Carey stumped Jonny Bairstow when the England batsman crept out of his crease at the end of an over. The Australian team were heavily booed in the aftermath of the incident with England’s players also mocking their opponents.
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Stuart Broad was the incoming batsman after Bairstow was stumped out and the former took aim at Carey for his antics. “You’ll forever be remembered for that.” Broad said, adding to Pat Cummins: “Literally, that’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen in cricket, that.”
The England-Australia rivalry will now be revived just weeks after the end of the Ashes. Wiegman’s side will be hoping to go one better than they have in the previous two World Cups having lost in both semi-final matches they’ve played in.
But the European champions are unbeaten in major tournament football since 2019 and will fancy their chances of reaching the World Cup final for the first time in their history.
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