England had themselves a chill afternoon in the quarterfinals against Norway, scoring twice in the first half and once a little later on to beat the Norwegians 3-0 and advance to the semifinals, where they’ll face the winners of Friday’s game between the USWNT and France. But before they worry about that crucible on Tuesday, England can take a few moments to celebrate its spectacular play in the quarters. Maybe they should be a little wigged out by another failed penalty from Nikita Parris, but otherwise, the offense was very easy on the eyes.
An incredible, determined run from right back Lucy Bronze set up Jill Scott for the first goal in the third minute, and after a few missed opportunities, Ellen White finished a tap-in in the 40th to double the lead. (Bronze got the hockey assist on that second goal, too.)
It mostly amounted to icing atop England’s victory, but the enduring image from this match will be the game’s third goal, which Bronze scored in the 57th. On a set piece after a Norway foul, Beth Mead sent the ball rolling to the top of the box where Bronze, who had inexcusably been left alone, got a running start to blast it off her right foot and into the top of the net. From Bronze’s teammates to manager Phil Neville to David Beckham in the stands, no Brit could resist the beauty of that strike.
As FIFA itself pointed out, this goal looks plenty familiar to both England and Norway. Back in 2015, when the two sides met in the round of 16, Bronze scored the winner with an equally explosive shot from outside the box.
It didn’t come home for England last year. But in 2019? Maybe it’s coming home.