By Christian Radnedge
LYON, France (Reuters) – England suffered a blow before their women’s World Cup semi-final against holders the United States when goalkeeper Karen Bardsley was ruled out with a reported hamstring injury while their opposition dropped winger Megan Rapinoe to the bench.
Rapinoe scored twice in the last 16 and then again in the quarter-finals to send the U.S. to the last four but was absent from the starting line-up for unknown reasons.
News of the injury to Bardsley, who was born in California to English parents, was reported just 90 minutes ahead of kick off in Lyon, with the Lionesses team sheet confirming the switch shortly after.
Carly Telford, drafted in as Bardsley’s replacement, has featured in the tournament before, keeping a clean sheet in the 1-0 group stage win over Argentina.
Phil Neville’s side face the world champions at 1900 GMT for a place in Sunday’s final.
(Reporting by Christian Radnedge; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)