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Women’s World Cup Catch-up – Day 26

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Day 26 of the FIFA Women’s World Cup saw the Semi-Final between Holders Japan and England. Who would claim a place in the Final of Canada 2015 and face USA?


England were beaten in the cruelest of manners by holders Japan in the Semi-Final of the Women’s World Cup in Edmonton.

But Mark Sampson’s side more than matched their opponents throughout the game with both teams striving to secure a World Cup Final place.

However, it was Norio Sasaki’s side that made the first step towards achieving that goal, as Chelsea’s Claire Rafferty fouled Saori Ariyoshi after the 27 year old was found by a perfectly flighted ball by defender Azusa Iwashimizu.

Although Rafferty’s challenge looked to have took place just outside the area, the Japanese player fell (a little too easily) and New Zealand referee Anna-Marie Keighley gave the Nadeshiko a penalty. Japan Captain Aya Miyama coolly slotted the spot kick past Lioness keeper Karen Bardsley.

But within minutes, England were level, after Captain Steph Houghton was deemed to have been brought down by Yumi Ogimi. Again the decision to award a penalty look harsh, but Liverpool’s Fara Williams crashed home an unstoppable shot from the spot and England once again grew in confidence.

Manchester City’s Toni Duggan crashed an effort onto Ayumi Kaihori’s crossbar after the break, and soon after, substitute Ellen White’s curling shot was pushed away by a fully-stretched Kaihori amidst a flurry of England corners.

From one corner, midfielder Jill Scott’s bullet header whistled past the far post as England piled on the the pressure.

Then came the heartbreaking moment for the England players, staff and fans alike, as deep into injury-time, Notts County’s Laura Bassett stretched to clear a low driven cross but inadvertently turned the ball over Bardsley’s head and into her own net.

The result means the Final of Canada 2015 will see Holders Japan take on Jill Ellis’ USA in a repeat of the 2011 Women’s World Cup final.

As for England, they will play Silvia Nied’s Germany in the 3rd place play-off.


Kaihori, Iwashimizu, Kumagai, Sameshima, Sawaguchi, Miyama ©, Kawasumi, Ohno (Iwabuchi 70), Utsugi, Ogimi, Ariyoshi.


Bardsley, Rafferty, Williams, (Carney 86), Houghton ©, Bassett, J. Scott, Moore, Bronze (A. Scott 75), Chapman, Duggan, Taylor (White 60).

England Women Japan Women Women's World Cup

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