Lauren James hits double as England thrash China 6-1 to reach Women's World Cup last 16

Denmark also advance from Group D after 2-0 win over Haiti

Lauren James, left, celebrates scoring England's fourth goal with Rachel Daly in their 6-1 Women's World Cup win over China. PA
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Lauren James scored two goals and assisted in three others to help England into the last 16 of the Women's World Cup with a 6-1 thrashing of China in Adelaide on Tuesday.

China's Shuang Wang scored their consolation goal. China failed to advance from the group stage for the first time at a World Cup as England topped Group D with nine points.

With the Lionesses dealing with an injury to midfielder Keira Walsh, the 21-year-old James has emerged as the nation's rising star. A video review before halftime took away a goal or James would have bagged a hat-trick against China, who finished the group phase on three points.

England won three straight games to head the group above Denmark, who also advance, in second place.

England got three goals during group stage matches from James and next face Nigeria on Monday in Brisbane.

Alessia Russo scored in the fourth minute and James assisted again on the second goal of the match, scored by Lauren Hemp, before she scored the first of her goals from inside the box in the 41st minute and then added a second in the 65th minute. Chloe Kelly and Rachel Daly also netted for England, who matched their biggest margin of victory in a Women's World Cup game.

England captain Millie Bright said: "We're really growing into the tournament now. We got a lot of criticism in the first two games but we were not concerned at all.

"It's unbelievable to be in the same team as [the youngsters]. It feels ridiculous and I'm quite proud. Players feeling like they can express themselves on the pitch is what we want."

Chloe Kelly said of James: "She's special – a very special player for us and for women's football in general. She's a special talent and the future is bright."

For the first time since 1995, Denmark advanced from the group stage of the Women's World Cup with a 2-0 win over Haiti in Perth

Denmark, who finished on six points, scored from two of their six shots on goal with strikes from Pernille Harder and Sanne Troelsgaard. Harder converted a penalty after Dayana Pierre-Louis was penalised for a handball. Troelsgaard scored in stoppage time to seal the Danes' spot in the knockout round.

Co-hosts Australia await Denmark on Monday.

Updated: August 01, 2023, 4:44 PM