Eng­land’s own- goal ends hope

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

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.

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