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England Lionesses Defeated 2-1 By Japan In World Cup Semi Final

02/07/2015 02:06 BST | Updated 02/07/2015 10:59 BST

England were knocked out of the World Cup on Wednesday evening, the Lionesses losing to Japan 2-1 in the semi-finals of the tournament in Edmonton, Canada.

An own goal by Laura Bassett in stoppage time against the run of play robbed England's women of a place in the final after a second half dominated by the team in white.

england japan world cup

Laura Bassett of England is comforted by team mates after the FIFA Women's World Cup Semi Final match between Japan and England at the Commonwealth Stadium on July 1, 2015 in Edmonton, Canada

A first half penalty by Fara Williams after a dubious fall leveled the score following a Japanese penalty tucked home by captain Aya Miyami.

England came close to extending their lead in the second half, Toni Duggan rattling the bar before Ellen White drew a smart save from Japan stopper Ayumi Kaihori. As extra time approached, a rare break from Japan down the right saw Bassett's clearance loop over Karen Bardsley and into the net off the crossbar.

Speaking after the game, coach Mark Sampson said: "It really is heartbreaking. I think we have to first and foremost congratulate the players for an incredible tournament. Laura Bassett's name is on that scoresheet but she has epitomised the team. She has been courageous, strong and she doesn't deserve that [to score an own goal]."

The 32-year-old Welshman added: "She is a hero, an absolute hero, that is how she will be remembered. I've told them it's OK to cry, they left everything on the field and it's a really tough way to go out. I'm so proud of them. We came here as a huge underdog with the weight of a nation on our back. We had critics and they have inspired a nation and they deserve to go home as heroes."

A crowd of 31,467 watched Japan progress to Sunday's showpiece in Vancouver where the 2011 champions will meet the USA. England lost their opening match in the tournament to France, but fought back with a succession of four 2-1 victories, earning the team a spot in the semi-finals.

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England V Japan

England V Japan