It was a cruel end to a dream that was within touching distance from becoming a reality. England’s women national football team painfully exited the World Cup when Laura Bassett’s stoppage time own goal sent them home.
Bassett was in tears after slicing what was supposed to be a clearance, into her own net. The Lionesses had managed to compose themselves against a slick-passing and polished Japan side, before heartbreakingly scoring the own goal a minute away from the final whistle.
At the final whistle, Notts County defender Bassett burst into tears with her team-mates quickly rushing onto the pitch to console her.
Had the Lionesses progressed to the World Cup final, they would have been the first England team to do so since 1966 when the men’s team won the competition.
England manager Mark Sampson said England deserve to “go home as heroes” after their 2-1 defeat to Japan.
“It really is heartbreaking. I’m so proud of them”, Sampson added.
Sampson’s side made history by reaching the semi final of the Women’s World Cup. There is a now a real shift in attitude towards the perception of our female national team.
Prince William praised the team, citing they are an “inspiration”.
This squad is only the third England team to reach a World Cup semi-final, after the 1990 men’s side and the 1966 World Cup winners.
TNT Sport Yasin Chinembiri