England crush China to ease into last 16 of Women's World Cup


Lauren James shone again with two goals as England put in their best performance of the Women's World Cup so far to sweep aside China 6-1 and march into the last 16 as Group D winners.

Alessia Russo gave the European champions the perfect start with a goal in the fourth minute and Lauren Hemp and James added two more to give England a comfortable lead at the break at Adelaide's Hindmarsh Stadium.

Asian Champions China, who exit in the group stage for the first time in eight editions of the World Cup, came out firing in the second half and got a goal back through a Wang Shuang penalty.

James grabbed her third goal, however, before Chloe Kelly and Rachel Daly also found the net to give England an emphatic victory as they head off to Brisbane to play Nigeria on Monday for a place in the quarter-finals.

Elsewhere, Denmark overcame Haiti 2-0 to reach the knockout stage as Group D runners-up and will meet Australia in Sydney.

The result ends a long drought for the Danes, who last advanced to the knockout round in 1995.

It also saw captain Pernille Harder convert a first-half penalty to register her maiden Women's World Cup goal.

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