- goal scored by E. White
- goal scored by C. Press
- goal scored by A. Morgan
- goal scored by E. White
goal scored by
- C. Press goal scored by
- A. Morgan
Steph Houghton misses penalty as Lionesses miss out on place in World Cup Final
England were edged out by holders USA in the semi-final of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Ellen White had cancelled out Christen Press’s opener, but Alex Morgan’s header proved to be the winner with all the goals coming in the first half.
The Lionesses thought they had drawn level in the second period, only for the VAR to rule out White’s second of the game, before captain Steph Houghton was denied from the penalty spot late on.
The defeat means England will face one of Sweden and the Netherlands in the third-place match on Saturday.
Head coach Phil Neville made three changes to the side which beat Norway in the quarter finals, with Carly Telford, Rachel Daly and Beth Mead coming in for Karen Bardsley, Fran Kirby and Toni Duggan.
England saw off an early period of USA pressure, having Carly Telford to thank for denying Rose Lavelle from close range.
And this pressure eventually told when Kelley O’Hara’s deep cross was headed in powerfully at the far post by Press.
Press’s goal ended England’s impressive 381-minute shutout, having last conceded in their opening Group D match against Scotland.
But, unfazed by the concession, England looked to roar back. Houghton’s raking cross-field ball found Mead whose neat touch inside saw her almost pick out White.
The equaliser would come with the next attack courtesy of Mead and White working together in perfect harmony. The Arsenal attacker’s inviting cross was guided into the far post by White’s right boot in the 19th minute.
England had to be on their guard at the other end soon after, but Lucy Bronze’s powerful header and then the strong fists of Telford denied the world’s number one-ranked side.
In an end-to-end first half the Lionesses again came close when Becky Sauerbrunn almost turned Keira Walsh’s cross into her own net, as Neville’s side continued to attack in numbers.
But it was the USA who restored their lead in the 31st minute when they again converted from a cross; on this occasion Morgan being the beneficiary of Lindsey Horan’s centre.
There was to be one final chance for England before the break, but a back-pedalling Jill Scott was unable to guide Mead’s corner goalbound.
England sought an equaliser straight after the break, with Bright and White almost combining from a well-worked free kick.
Press could have had a second when she pounced upon a Telford clearance, but could only curl wide when in front of goal.
It momentarily appeared that miss had proven a turning point as England thought they had equalised when Scott supplied White. But the intervention of the VAR saw the striker’s cool finish ruled out for offside.
VAR would then rule in England’s favour, when White was felled in the box by Sauerbrunn and a penalty was awarded following consultation with the pitch-side monitor.
But it was not be England’s night as Houghton’s penalty was saved by Alyssa Naeher.
In the closing stages Bright was dismissed for a second yellow card, as the USA managed to see the game out and book their place in the a third successive World Cup Final.
Despite the loss, England’s World Cup campaign is not yet over as they will do battle for another bronze medal in Nice on Saturday.
by Thomas Smith, a Football Journalism student at the University of Derby
Find out how England's semi-final defeat unraveled in Lyon
FULL TIME: England come so close yet again but miss out on a place in the World Cup Final after being edged out by the holders. It is the third straight semi-final loss for the Lionesses, who will contest the third-place play-off against either Sweden or the Netherlands on Saturday.
90+5: A caution for Parris.
90: There will be SEVEN minutes of added time.
89: A final throw of the dice as Georgia Stanway comes on for Daly.
87: Bright is sent off after picking up a second yellow card for a foul on Morgan, and England's World Cup appears to be unraveling in the dying embers of the game.
84: Steph Houghton sees her spot-kick saved by Naeher. The skipper goes low to her left, but Naeher guesses right and gathers the ball. It's the third penalty the Lionesses have missed at this tournament.
83: Penalty for England! White is felled inside the box and Edina Valdes Batista awards the penalty after lengthy consultation with VAR.
71: Another England change as Jade Moore comes on for Walsh.
67: So, so close to an equaliser for England! White calmly slots home what she thinks is her seventh goal of France 2019, after being played in by a sumptuous pass from Jill Scott, but the goal is referred to VAR and White is ruled out for offside by the narrowest of margins.
58: Neville makes his first change as Fran Kirby replaces Mead. Kirby takes up the No10 position with Nikita Parris moving out to the left.
50: Bright nods a Daly free kick back across goal but White's attempted overhead is gathered by Naeher.
47: Lindsey Horan receives a caution for a foul on Lucy Bronze.
SECOND HALF: USA get us going again after the half-time break.
HALF TIME: England trail at the break for the first time at this World Cup as goals by Press and Morgan, either side of a White strike, give the holders a slender lead.
40: Bright receives the first booking of the game following a foul on Morgan.
33: Almost an instant response from the Lionesses as the lively Walsh forces Alyssa Naeher into a fine, full-stretch save with a shot from 25 yards.
31: Goal for USA. Lindsey Horan flights a delicate ball into the box and Alex Morgan gets ahead of Demi Stokes to plant a header into the back of the net. Morgan rejoins White at the top of the scoring charts.
28: A nervy moment for Becky Sauerbrunn who slices a clearance, from a Walsh cross, off her shin but the ball whizzes just past the far upright.
25: Another good save from Telford who palms away a fierce, 18-yard drive from Lavelle.
20: White is now the tournament's outright leading goalscorer with six goals.
19: GOAL! And bounce back they do! Keira Walsh plays a wonderful diagonal ball out to the left wing. Mead collects it and crosses for the in-form White to do what she does best and guides a side-footed shot into the far corner. Game on!
11: England must bounce back from this setback. It is the first time they have been behind in the tournament.
10: Goal for USA. Tobin Heath is played in down the right and she sends in a deep cross which Christen Press heads home powerfully at the back post.
04: Telford’s first involvement sees her parry away an angled shot from Rose Lavelle after the tricky attacker nutmegs Millie Bright.
01: Ellen White gets us up and running in Lyon.
7.40pm: Head coach Phil Neville has made three changes from the quarter final win over Norway with goalkeeper Carly Telford coming in for Karen Bardsley, Beth Mead replacing Toni Duggan and Rachel Daly getting the nod ahead of Fran Kirby.
7.30pm: Good evening and welcome to Lyon, where England take on holders USA for a place in the World Cup Final.
- Goals: 1
- Pens won: 1
- Disallowed goals: 1