Despite USA Loss, England Have Inspired The Next Generation And Should Be Proud
England Women's World Cup dream has come to an end at the semi-final stage after they were beaten 2-1 by the USA in Lyon.
Captain Alex Morgan's 107th goal for her country in the 31st minute proved to be the winner after Ellen White had cancelled out Christen Press' early opener with her sixth goal of the tournament.
A goal against England...
There was only one thing for it. :coffee:
:tv: Watch live on @BBCOne.https://t.co/Lkc59OGukI#Lionesses #ENGUSA #FIFAWWC #ChangeTheGame pic.twitter.com/WLaP4clO8b
- Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) July 2, 2019
White busted out her trademark 'eyes' celebration in the second half again when she found the net for the seventh time in France, only for the goal to be disallowed after VAR ruled that she was offside in an incredible close call.
A photo paints a thousand words...
It remains England 1-2 #USA with 15 minutes to go.
Live :arrow_right: https://t.co/yJU6xyiO0b #ENGUSA #Lionesses #USAvENG #WWC19 pic.twitter.com/JqFA3SBqpK
- BBC Sport (@BBCSport) July 2, 2019
VAR came to the Lionesses' aid minutes later when the technology awarded a penalty for a trip on the Manchester City striker and it gave England a golden chance.
Captain Steph Houghton stepped up but saw her effort saved by Alyssa Naeher in what was England's third missed spot-kick in the tournament.
England piled on the pressure late on but their task of levelling was made even more difficult when defender Millie Bright received a second yellow for a late challenge.
USA have the chance to become back-to-back world champions when they play the winner of the second semi-final between Netherlands and Sweden on Sunday.
England face the loser of that game as they look to finish the campaign on a high as they did four years ago in Canada.
But while there's disappointment that they weren't able to go a step further this time around, the whole squad deserve enormous credit for their performances and how they have managed to inspire the next generation of young girls.
What a game. Congratulations, @USWNT.
Your #Lionesses have missed out on a place in the @FIFAWWC Final. pic.twitter.com/gcpDXowbfu
- Lionesses (@Lionesses) July 2, 2019
The sheer interest in England Women from fans and the media has been nothing short of incredible. A peak UK TV audience of 7.6 million tuning in on BBC to watch Phil Neville's side beat Norway 3-0 in the quarter finals and that number is expected to have experienced another increase yet again tonight.
To those who have recently fallen in love with our #Lionesses and to those who have been here since the beginning. Your support means the world. This thing that is happening, doesn't end here.- Lionesses (@Lionesses) July 2, 2019
Thank you x pic.twitter.com/u0qLERb7IS
Women's football on these shores has come a long, long way and you get the feeling that we're only just getting started.
Though they are wounded and heartbroken, England can be proud of their efforts.