England’s World Cup hopes over.
England’s World Cup hopes were shattered on Tuesday evening as they lost 2-1 to USA in Lyon in their Women’s World Cup semi-final.
Tipped by many to be the game of the tournament it certainly didn’t disappoint for drama or quality.
Goals from Christen Press and Alex Morgan on her 30th birthday set up a final meeting with either Netherlands or Sweden the third final in a row that the USA and current holders will have been involved in.
Jill Ellis saw her team come out of the blocks the quickest with all guns blazing as they went ahead after just ten minutes when Press met a cross into the back post before she lost her marker Lucy Bronze powering her headed into the net.
Carly Telford who was in for the injured Karen Bardsley had earlier made a brilliant save to keep the USA at bay when Rose Lavelle skipped past Millie Bright before her powerful close range effort was well parried by the keeper.
However it wasn’t long before England levelled when Arsenal’s Beth Mead whipped in a pinpoint cross for Ellen White to fire home her 6th goal of the tournament a new English record for World Cup goals.
Telford who had performed earlier favours for her side was then beaten again from yet another cross when Lindsey Horan whipped in a perfect ball to the head of Morgan before she headed home catching out Demi Stokes in the process to equal White on six goals.
As dominant as the USA were Phil Neville’s side had their chances and Kiera Walsh nearly got them on level terms only for a super reaction save from Alyssa Naeher in the USA goal tipping the ball away thanks to her fantastic reflexes.
The Lionesses improved after the interval and thought they were back on level terms when White was played in after an extraordinary flicked pass from Jill Scott but her celebrations were turned into frustration when it was ruled out for offside on a VAR review.
Ellis then changed her formation playing five at the back as the Lionesses roared back at them and they thought they had the chance to bite back in the contest when White was brought down in the box for a penalty.
After a lengthy VAR check the Brazilian referee decided that White was clipped allowing captain Steph Houghton to step forward from the spot, however her effort lacked power and she saw the ball saved by the sprawling Naeher.
Things then went from bad to worse for Neville’s side as on 86 minutes they were down to ten when Millie Bright got her marching orders for a second yellow card when she made a clumsy foul on the tricky Morgan.
USA will now meet either Sweden or Netherlands in the final where the loser of that fixture will take on the Lionesses in Nice on Saturday in the 3rd/4th plaice playoff.