- Georgia Stanway was England’s hero in their quarter-final win over the Netherlands
- Her brace sent her side into the last four at France 2018
- Stanway: “Making history by getting to the semi-finals is more than we’d hoped for”
“There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven,” sang Led Zeppelin on their 1971 hit “Stairway to Heaven”. Thirty-seven years on, a young England striker is doing something similar for her team, creating their very own “Stanway to Heaven”.
In scoring twice in three first-half minutes against the Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018, Georgia Stanway had a little taste of heaven herself, taking England into the last four of the competition for the first time in their history.
“Just taking part in this competition is amazing,” the hero of the hour told FIFA.com. “Reaching the quarter-finals was already pretty special for us, so making history by getting to the semi-finals is more than we’d hoped for. We’re not putting any limits on our dreams, especially as we’re getting closer and closer to the ultimate goal.”
Stanway knows a thing or two about goals, having scored five of them at France 2018 already, which makes her the tournament’s joint-leading goalscorer: “That honestly isn’t important to me. I’m happy about it, of course I am, but it’s the team’s performances that stand out, both in this match and the tournament as a whole. The only reason I’m scoring is because the team’s setting me up perfectly.”
The England striker has a point perhaps. She scored her first goal after latching on to a fine through-ball from Georgia Allen and her second following a sublime pass from Lauren Hemp. The English also owed their win to the watchfulness of central-defensive pairing Megan Finnigan and Grace Fisk. But whether she likes it or not, it is Stanway who sets the tone for the team.
The forward celebrated the win by breaking into song, launching into the Atomic Kitten hit “Whole Again” at the end of the match, to the delight of the fans at the Stade de la Rabine. “It was the victory song of the England fans at the World Cup in Russia,” she explained, before adding: “Qualifying for the semi-final gave us the perfect opportunity to sing it all together again.”
Do not be surprised if “Stanway to Heaven” becomes another firm favourite with the Three Lionesses.