By 90Min
July 02, 2019

England have missed out on a place in the Women's World Cup final once more, having a goal ruled out for offside and a penalty saved as the United States secured a 2-1 win in a classic semi-final encounter.

Phil Neville's side were forced into a change for the semi-final in Lyon following an injury to Karen Bardsley, and back-up goalkeeper Carly Telford was forced into an early save to keep out a powerful effort from Rose Lavelle.

The USWNT maintained their early pressure and eventually broke through England's defence after 10 minutes, with Christen Press - brought in to replace Megan Rapinoe - meeting a deep cross before heading the ball inside Telford's near post.

Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

England took their time to find their feet after Press' opener, but star striker Ellen White pulled the Lionesses back on level terms after glancing Beth Mead's low cross into the far corner for her sixth goal of the competition.

The United States then had their hearts in their mouths when Becky Sauerbrunn's botched clearance whistled inches away from being an own goal, but Jill Ellis' side soon found themselves celebrating after retaking the lead.

Once again failing to close down a cross, England left striker Alex Morgan unmarked in the area and the Orlando Pride forward celebrated her 30th birthday with a powerful header just out of Telford's reach.

England's Telford almost gifted the United States a third goal shortly after half-time after putting the ball on a plate for Press, but the 30-year-old's curled effort flew harmlessly wide of the post.

The United States were made to pay when England's goal machine White had the ball in the back of the net a few minutes later, but the Video Assistant Referee stepped in to chalk it off for a marginal offside.

After establishing itself as the villain, the new technology then stepped in to award England a penalty after White was adjudged to be fouled. Captain Steph Houghton stepped up but couldn't find a way past Alyssa Naeher, rolling a tame effort straight into the goalkeeper's arms.

And things went from bad to worse as defender Millie Bright picked up her second yellow card of the game, leaving England with an unattainable mountain to climb heading into the final few seconds of the semi-final.


Key Talking Point

It wasn't possible for the Lionesses to start their World Cup semi-final in worse style, going a goal behind very early on, but England clearly learned from France's mistakes during the quarter-final stage - by bouncing back in perfect style.

Despite seeing the United States dominate possession and set the tempo of the match, England didn't get dragged into trying to match their opponents' pace.

Alex Grimm/GettyImages

The biggest drawback of England's efforts to slow the game down, however, meant that they were slow to close down crosses from wide areas - which directly lead to the United States' two goals.

The USWNT enjoyed too much space in wide areas and although England improved after the break, Neville's side couldn't force their way back into the match.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Telford (8); Bronze (8), Houghton (7), Bright (7), Stokes (7); Walsh (6), Scott (7), Daly (7); Parris (6), Mead (8), White (8).


Substitutes: Kirby (7), Moore (7), Stanway (6).

Star Player - Ellen White

It wasn't a vintage England performance against the reigning world champions, but striker Ellen White once again showcased her growing reputation as one of the best forwards in the women's game.

Chances were few and far between for the Manchester City star, but White scored an outstanding first goal with an instinctive finish that stunned the United States.

She had the ball in the back of the net for a second time thanks to a calm finish from the edge of the area, only for VAR to step in due to a narrow offside.

White kept both Becky Sauerbrunn and Abby Dahlkemper on their toes throughout the 90 minutes, but the 30-year-old just didn't get enough service during the semi-final to carry England into their first-ever Women's World Cup final.

United States Women's National Team

Key Talking Point

Despite meeting their match technically, the United States showed why they're dominating on the international stage - thanks to their standout athleticism.

The Lionesses were confident on the ball and looked their best in possession, but Jill Ellis' side worked their socks off whilst out of possession, winning the majority of second balls and not giving England any breathing space in all areas of the pitch.


Stifling their opposition gave the United States the perfect platform for the likes of Rose Lavelle, Tobin Heath and birthday girl Alex Morgan to really impact the game in the most dangerous areas of the pitch.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Naeher (7); O'Hara (7), Dahlkemper (6), Sauerbrunn (6), Dunn (7); Lavelle (9*), Ertz (7), Horan (7); Heath (7), Morgan (8), Press (8).

Substitutes: Mewis (6), Lloyd (6), Krieger (6).

Star Player - Rose Lavelle

The United States' best moments of the match came from Tobin Heath and Christen Press in wide areas, as well as their overlapping full-backs, but at the heart of their success on Tuesday was midfield maestro Rose Lavelle.

Sitting primarily on the right side of the USWNT's midfield three but given the licence to roam, Lavelle dragged England's midfielders across the pitch and created acres of space for her teammates in the final third.

Looking Ahead

The USWNT will now prepare for their World Cup final on July 7, where they'll face the winners of the other semi-final between Sweden and the Netherlands, while England will play in a third-place play-off match on July 6.

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