England’s own- goal ends hope
DON’T be afraid to cry.
That was the message from England coach Mark Sampson after Laura Bassett scored into her own net during second- half stoppage time, giving Japan a 2- 1 victory over England in a Women’s World Cup semi- final.
Japan continued its rollercoaster ride after beating the Matildas with a goal in the 87th minute.
Bassett reached out with her right foot and caught the ball flush, inadvertently sending it towards her net. The ball struck the crossbar and bounced in just before goalkeeper Karen Bardsley could get across.
The defending champions advanced to play the US in the final at Vancouver on Monday. It’s a rematch of the 2011 final when Japan won on penalty kicks after a 2- 2 draw.
Bassett was inconsolable after the match, lying flat on the ground, her face in the turf. She then needed assistance from teammates and her coach before leaving the field.
“This team can’t be afraid to cry,” England coach Mark Sampson said. “There’s nothing wrong with that at all.”
It was a torturous finish for the sixth- ranked Lionesses, who have made their deepest run in four World Cup appearances. England had never won an elimination game until this year.
England will remain in Edmonton, Canada to play topranked Germany in the thirdplace match.