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Thursday, July 2, 2015


Laura Bassett is consoled by her team-mates and coach as her injury time own goal gifts victory to Japan.

England Women have lost 2-1 in their World Cup semi-final against Japan after an injury time own goal by Laura Bassett.

Coach Mark Sampson said: "Laura Bassett has epitomised this England team this tournament.
"She has been courageous, strong ...  she kept this team together. She didn't deserve that. She'll be remembered as a hero."

Japan captain Aya Miyama's penalty opened the scoring after 33 minutes.

But Fara Williams equalised from the spot just seven minutes later.

In the second half Toni Duggan and Claire Rafferty both hit the crossbar while Ellen White and Jill Scott also went close.

But in stoppage time Bassett's last ditch interception sent the ball looping in off the bar.

Midfielder Williams added: "Laura feels she's let everybody down but I'll tell you now, that girl has given everything in this tournament and she should be proud of herself."

Captain Steph Houghton, Bassett's central defensive partner, said: "There are no words to describe it really.

"The only thing I've got to say is I'm so proud of all the girls, all the staff, we've been on an amazing journey."

Japan will face the USA in Sunday's final - a rematch of the 2011 game which saw the Asian champions lift the coveted trophy.

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