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Women's World Cup

Freak own-goal in injury time sees England lose to Japan in World Cup semi-final

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England's Toni Duggan wipes away a tear after her squad's 2-1 loss to Japan in the FIFA Women's World Cup semi-finals at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton

Image credit: AFP

ByCarrie Dunn
02/07/2015 at 00:07 | Updated 02/07/2015 at 09:06
@carriesparkle

Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton: Japan 2 (Miyama 33' pen, Bassett og 90'+2) England 1 (Houghton 40' pen)

A heartbreaking injury-time own goal knocked Mark Sampson's Lionesses out of the Women's World Cup and put the defending champions Japan through to the final.

Claire Rafferty gave Japan a gift of a goal, putting both hands on Saori Ariyoshi, albeit just outside the area. Aya Miyama took a nonsensically long time over her run-up, but eventually struck past Karen Bardsley.

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Then England got a soft penalty of their own less than ten minutes later, Steph Houghton claiming a foul in the box and falling to the ground. Fara Williams converted to equalise.

England had spells of absolute dominance throughout the second half, with Toni Duggan and Claire Rafferty both hitting the bar.

It looked like the match was heading to extra-time when Japan broke after yet another England attack, and Laura Bassett had to stick out a leg in an attempt to prevent the ball reaching the onrushing attackers. It bounced off her shin and looped over Bardsley's head, knocking England out of the tournament in the cruellest way possible.

HIGHLIGHTS

1' CHANCE! And Jodie Taylor gets her first touch of the game - and it's just INCHES wide!

23' CHANCE! Great snapped shot from Toni Duggan there with space to turn in the box, but firing over the bar. That's the Duggan we're used to seeing and that's been kept quiet this World Cup.

31' PENALTY TO JAPAN! Booking for Claire Rafferty, who shoves over Ariyoshi on the break. Looked outside the box again, but apparently that's given all the time these days.

32' GOAL! Aya Miyama takes her time with that, and Bardsley seems to get her feet to it, but that's a goal.

39' PENALTY TO ENGLAND! Houghton's pulled back in the box, she thinks, but that looks a bit soft to me.

40' GOAL! Fara Williams looks very nervous but that's a GREAT penalty!

90'+2 GOAL! Oh, and Japan have won this with an absolute freak of a goal. Laura Bassett throws her leg at the ball trying to prevent a four-on-four break, but just pings it over Karen Bardsley's head.

KEY STATISTICS

Japan have scored the first goal in all their Women's World Cup matches this year.

This was the second match at this tournament which had both sides scoring from the penalty spot, after Switzerland v Ecuador.

MATCHCAST: AS IT HAPPENED - JAPAN V ENGLAND

England's Fara Williams celebrates scoring a penalty against Japan

Image credit: Reuters

TALKING POINT

Those penalties need to be looked at, but discussing officialdom is so yesterday. So instead let's focus on the real talking point - the potential impact England's excellent tournament will have on improving the standard of the domestic teams. This wave of interest needs to be capitalised on.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH

Toni Duggan (England): Muted during some points of the tournament, today she had more space to show why she scored so many goals in qualifying. Held the ball up well and unlucky not to score.

Japan celebrate winning their World Cup semi-final against England

Image credit: Reuters

RATINGS

Japan: Kaihori 7, Iwashimizu 7, Kumagai 7, Sameshima 7, Sakaguchi 7, Miyama 8, Kawasumi 7, Ohno 6, Utsugi 7, Ogimi 7, Ariyoshi 7. Subs - Iwabuchi 8.

England: Bardsley 7, Bronze 8, Houghton 8, Bassett 8, Rafferty 7, Williams 8, J Scott 7, Moore 7, Chapman 7, Duggan 8, Taylor 7. Subs - White 7, Carney 6, A Scott 7.

MATCH IN A TWEET

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Related Topics
FootballWomen's World CupJapan (W)England (W)
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