Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | Thursday, 2 July 2015

Lionesses Lose World Cup Semi In Last Minute And Everyone’s Gutted

Lionesses Lose World Cup Semi In Last Minute And Everyone’s Gutted

The Debrief: England women's football team conceded a fluke own goal in the last minute….

Last night, hearts were broken across the country and beyond as the England women’s football team – otherwise known as the Lionesses – lost out to the Japanese team in the last minute of stoppage time.

Each team had scored a goal from a penalty in the first half of the match in Edmonton, Canada. While England put on so many attacks – narrowly missing when the ball hit the Japanese goal’s bar a couple of times – in the second half, commentators groaned about the inevitability that the Lionesses would face the same extra time and penalties fate as their male counterparts.

But that didn’t happen, because, while trying to defend against an incredibly energetic attack in the final minute of stoppage time, one of the best players of the match, Laura Bassett, accidentally knocked the ball into her own goal.

The positives to take from it are that the semi was England’s second since the 1966 World Cup win, and the women’s team’s first ever – they did so well to get so far. Plus, Japan are the current world champions, so it’s not like they’re losing out to a really crap team or anything.

Oh, and the support for the Lionesses is being shared across social media, with long-time Lionesses supporter Danny Dyer chiming in:

 And champion of women’s sport Clare Balding saying:

 As for Laura Bassett, as soon as England didn’t recover from that goal (they had about half a minute to come back from it), and the final whistle was blown, she burst into tears.

But considering Paul Gascoigne did the same when he was carded in the semi finals in 1990, there was a lot a of sympathy for her, not least the team mate who pushed a cameraman away from filming Laura as she sobbed.

England head coach Mark Sampson told FA.com: ‘She didn’t deserve that and she should be remembered as an absolute hero.

‘People will remember the Laura Bassett who headed and blocked and tackled. She has stayed strong and kept this team together.’

And we’ll always remember the Lionesses, because with every second we watched them, not only were we hooked and hopeful of an England World Cup win, we had further confirmation that women in sport are so much more than photos of Kim Sears and her wonderful hair being used to illustrate stories of Andy Murray playing tennis.

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Tags: Sports