England’s historic journey at the women’s world cup in Canada ended in heartbreak on Wednesday night when the Lionesses lost to holders Japan in the
England’s historic journey at the women’s world cup in Canada ended in heartbreak on Wednesday night when the Lionesses lost to holders Japan in the semi-finals in Edmonton.
It was the manner of the defeat that dealt a crushing blow to England players and fans alike.
After Fara Williams’s penalty cancelled out Aya Miyama’s spot-kick the match appeared to be heading for extra time with England in the ascendancy.
But in the second minute of stoppage time Laura Bassett diverted a Japanese cross past goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and into her own goal to send Japan through to a repeat of the 2011 final against the USA.
The Lionesses were the first England team, men or women, to reach the last four of a world cup since 1990 and only the third after the men’s 1966 World cup winning side.
They must now play a third-fourth place play-off against Germany in Edmonton on Saturday while Japan and the US square off in Vancouver on Sunday 16:00 local time, 01:00 CET.