England v USA was the most watched television event in the UK in 2019

England v USA: Semi Final - 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France

It was heartbreak all over again for England in a World Cup semi-final last night.

The Lionesses crashed out of the showpiece event in France after a missed penalty and a controversial VAR call saw them fail to overcome the might of the USA.

It just wasn’t meant to be for the England ladies who fought bravely right to the last, but will have to settle for a third-place play-off as their trans-Atlantic rivals march on.

It has been an incredible tournament for England though, as they cantered into the final four with wins over Cameroon and Norway in the knock-out stages.

They had conceded just one goal in their five games and looked genuine contenders to bring home the biggest prize in the women’s game.

Sadly, besting the USA proved a bridge too far but the Lionesses can certainly hold their heads up high.

Their march to the latter stages of the tournament has been an incredible advert for the women’s game, with the entire country rallying behind them to cheer them on in last night’s semi-final.

In fact, the wave of support was so vast that last night’s clash in Lyon became the most watched television event of the year, eclipsing the UEFA Champions League final in June.

When you take into consideration the fact that the European cup final was contested between two English teams you realise just how fantastic an achievement that is.

According to the BBC, 11.7 million people tuned in to roar for the England ladies which - a staggering 50.8% of the UK audience share.

Unsurprisingly, it was the most watched women’s football match-up ever on UK television, with that particular record being broken for the fourth time at the 2019 tournament.

The ladies will now face either the Netherlands or Sweden for third place on Saturday.

While they may not be bringing the trophy back with them, they have certainly made us proud and done the women’s game a world of good.

Up the Lionesses!

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