England are into the last four after a thrilling game with Japan that was decided by penalties.
FIFA Women's U17 World Cup
12 midnight (GMT), Saturday 8 November 2008
Hamilton, New Zealand
Full tournament schedule - click here
Watch all the games on Eurosport
England are through to the last four of the World Cup after knocking out joint-favourites Japan on penalties following a thrilling game that saw Isobel Christiansen level the scores in injury time from fully 40 yards out.
Having scored 17 goals in three group games, the Japanese began this match as overwhelming favourites, and the opening exchanges looked to be adhering to the expected script.
Indeed, it took only eight minutes for the Young Nadeshiko to take a deserved lead, with Mana Iwabuchi slipping a delightful reverse pass through the English defence with the outside of her foot to release Chinatsu Kira. The Japan number nine obliged with a finish worthy of the assist, angling a right-foot shot just inside the far post.
England were up against an extremely talented side but showed great character and rallied as half-time approached and went into the break boosted by a quite brilliant equaliser. Lucy Staniforth claimed it, punishing some hesitancy in the Japan defence by bursting dynamically through a crowded midfield area before smashing home a terrific, low right-foot shot from 20 yards.
England came out in the second period with even greater belief and started to make their mark on the game, subduing their opponents by holding a high defensive line and pressing the the Japanese midfielders and forwards at every opportunity.
Yet with eight minutes reaming, Iwabuchi looked to have secured victory when she escaped the close marking of Lucy Bronze for the first time in the second half, cut inside and thumped the ball past Lauren Davey from close range.
That, however, was until Isobel Christiansen provided a bolt from the blue in injury time, finding the top left-hand corner from fully 40 yards to produce a surefire contender for goal of the tournament.
Extra time failed to yield a winner, so the game went to penalties, where Davey and Gemma Bonner emerged as England's heroines, the former saving from Natsumi Kameoka and the latter firing home a superb winning kick.
England take on North Korea who beat Denmark 4-0 this Thursday, while USA play Germany in the other Semi-Final.
16 Sakiko IKEDA, 2 Kozue CHIBA, 4 Nagisa OKUDA, 5 Natsuki KISHIKAWA (c), 6 Natsumi KAMEOKA, 7 Chiaki SHIMADA (20 Yoko TANAKA 73'), 8 Yuko TAKEYAMA 9 Chinatsu KIRA, 10 Mana IWABUCHI, 11 Akane SAITO, 12 Yuiko INOUE (14 Kei YOSHIOKA 80' (13 Takako SUGIYAMA 112')
Substitutes Not Used
1 Saki NAKAMURA, 21 Ayaka SAITOH, 15 Saori TAKAHASHI, 17 Minami ISHIDA, 18 Marika OHSHIMA, 19 Haruka HAMADA
1 Lauren DAVEY, 2 Rachel DALY (14 Stephanie MARSH 58'), 3 Naomi CHADWICK, 6 Gemma BONNER, 7 Rebecca JANE (19 Paige ELI 106'), 8 Jordan NOBBS (c), 9 Danielle CARTER, 11 Lucy STANIFORTH (18 Rachel PITMAN 106'), 12 Lucy BRONZE, 16 Lauren BRUTON
Substitutes Not Used
13 Amy CARR, 21 Juliana DRAYCOTT, 15 Jemma ROSE, 17 Sarah WILTSHIRE, 20 Kirsty LINNETT