England missed out on a place in Sunday’s Women’s World Cup final after losing 2-1 to the United States in Lyon.
Christen Press put the reigning world champions ahead in the 10th minute before Ellen White equalised for the Lionesses.
Alex Morgan’s goal midway through the first half, however, proved enough to send the USA through to their third successive World Cup final.
England thought they'd made it 2-2 in the 68th minute when White put the ball in the net again, but her celebrations - and her country's - were cut short following a VAR review which showed she was in an offside position.
A later VAR review saw England awarded a dramatic penalty, which Steph Houghton was unable to convert. For the second time in two summers, it was World Cup semi-final heartbreak for England.
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The big news before kick-off involved Megan Rapinoe, one of the stars of this summer’s tournament.
The 33-year-old, who had scored five goals prior to the semi-finals, was named among the substitutes by head coach Jill Ellis.
Ellis said she’d clarify why Rapinoe was omitted from the starting line-up after the match but it was her replacement, Press, who opened the scoring.
Kelley O'Hara’s deep cross wasn’t dealt with by the England defence and Press nodded in past Carly Telford, who had already been forced to make an earlier save from Rose Lavelle.
The USA were the much better side earlier on and fully deserved their opener.
However, this England team are made of stern stuff and 10 minutes later they were level thanks to White.
The 30-year-old notched her sixth goal of the tournament, finishing Beth Mead’s excellent cross with a brilliant instinctive strike.
White became the first England player to score in five World Cup matches in a row. With the exception of Gary Lineker, she now has more World Cup goals than any other English footballer.
USA, however, re-took the lead on the half-hour mark through Morgan, whose well-timed header from Lindsey Horan’s cross left Telford with no chance.
The forward, who turns 30 today, celebrated by pretending to drink a cup of tea.
Neville sent on Fran Kirby with just over 30 minutes left to play in the second half in an attempt to shake things up, but it was Jill Scott who provided a moment of class in the 68th minute.
Her flicked pass led to White sticking the ball into the back of the net for the second time of the night - only for VAR to correctly disallowed the goal for offside.
White was then convinced she should have been awarded a penalty with just over 10 minutes to go - and, following a lengthy VAR review, the referee gave it.
Houghton had the chance to score what would have been the biggest goal of her career to date, but her spot-kick was saved by Alyssa Naeher.
It was a heartbreaking moment for England, who were then reduced to 10 players when Millie Bright was sent off.
It's the USA who will now face either the Netherlands or Sweden in the final this weekend.
England, meanwhile, will face the other losing semi-finalists in the third/fourth-place play-off.News Now - Sport News