England fans warm up for World Cup decider with knees up in Aussie 'British pub'

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England fans warm up for World Cup decider with knees up in Aussie
England fans warm up for World Cup decider with knees up in Aussie 'British pub'

England fans warmed up for our World Cup decider against China today with a knees up and singsong in a 'British pub' Down Under. They met for a few pre-match drinks at 'The Elephant' bar in Adelaide to talk about the possible outcome of Group D.

The outcome is on a knife edge with three teams, England, China and Denmark vying for top spot in their final matches. The Lioness fans sang "Ole, Ole, Ole' and 'We're on our way to Sydney' while they enjoyed a lunchtime beer. Their team take to the field in the city's Hindmarsh Stadium knowing they must avoid defeat at all costs. The 13,392-capacity venue is the smallest by far for their World Cup matches so far.

But it will be packed to the rafters with England fans for the match. Sarina Wiegman knows that if they were to lose 2-0 to China they could go out if Denmark beat Haiti by three clear goals.

England fans warm up for World Cup decider with knees up in Aussie 'British pub' rriddqikeiqtkinvEngland fans sang and drank as they readied themselves for the final group game of this year's World Cup (PA)

Debs Dilworth, of the Football Supporters' Association, said that an England victory would be 'perfect'. They would go through as group winners and avoid hosts Australia who looked very impressive in their 4-0 victory over Canada.

She said: "Australia going through is really good for the tournament. They will have so many fans at the next game. So it would be good for us to avoid them. England would go through, full of confidence, after winning all three games. Not many teams have done that. Losing to China - I don't even want to think about!"

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England fans warm up for World Cup decider with knees up in Aussie 'British pub'An England fan readying for today's game in The Elephant British pub in Australia (PA)

Sarah-Jayne Smith, 24, a Starbucks manager from Workington, Cumbria, added: "I've lost my voice from screaming for the Lionesses. I'm going home on Thursday so I'm hoping to go home on a high and make sure they're not following behind!"

Asked how they will celebrate. Sharon Rogalski, 71, retired painter and decorator also from Peterborough said: "We've been celebrating the wins over breakfast, by the time we have got on the bus back from the games we end up just going back to the hotel. But we have a chat and discuss the match and celebrate the goals we've had in the morning."

Michelle Nelson, 52, a civil servant, from Salisbury, has spent nearly £12k on the 'ultimate package' to follow the Lionesses all the way through to the final. Speaking to the Mirror, she said: "I believe they can do it, I have full faith in the Lionesses to get there. It's a big commitment and some people are having to go home, but if they go all the way I'm going to feel like I've won the lottery with these tickets. I did the same for the Euros and that's how I felt when I watched them win."

England fans warm up for World Cup decider with knees up in Aussie 'British pub'England fans gathered at the pub in Adelaide ahead of the Lionesses crucial game against China (Andy Stenning/Daily Mirror)

She added: "I'm more worried about Nigeria than Australia because they are similar to Haiti in how they play. They are very powerful and strong on the counter. We didn't play very well against Haiti but I hope they have learned lessons from the first game and are ready.

Another superfan Julie Abbott, 53, of Newark, Notts., has also bought tickets all the way to the final. She said: "If we won, that would be three out of three, and you cannot say fairer than that. But we have not been that convincing, and it is hard to work out what is missing. Let's hope they can find it tonight."

Julie has spent around £12,000 on flights, accommodation and tickets all the way to the final, while operating theatre assistant Steven Grocock, 36, a lifelong Notts County fan, has managed to keep his costs down to around £3,500. He is in a flat above a pub in Sydney for most of the tournament, travelling to England games for the group stages. He has bought tickets to cover all the options for a run to the final.

England fans warm up for World Cup decider with knees up in Aussie 'British pub'England will play China to decide who goes through to the knockout stages (PA)

"It was £1500 for the accommodation, but we are sharing," he said. "So that has brought the costs down for the month and I have been surprised how much cheaper food and drink is here in Adelaide. I am a fan of both the men and women's game and have followed England and Notts County for years. It is such a different experience out here, there is no swearing, no hate for other teams, I do really enjoy it."

England fans warm up for World Cup decider with knees up in Aussie 'British pub'Some superfans have paid upwards of £10,000 to make the trip down under (PA)

Leanne Woodall, 31, Wythenshawe, Manchester, a support worker, has met the families of England stars Georgia Stanway and Keira Walsh, who are best friends both on the pitch and off it. "I have known Georgia from the youth teams," she said. "She is my favourite player and she will be so important tonight."

Jeremy Armstrong

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