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It's World Cup semi-final heartbreak for Lionesses, but the team did us proud

2 July 2019

It's World Cup semi-final heartbreak for Lionesses, but the team did us proud

Lionesses' skipper Steph Houghton sees her late penalty kick saved by Alyssa Naeher

Phil Neville spoke of his "pride" after England suffered World Cup semi-final heartbreak with a narrow 2-1 defeat to defending champions USA.

In a dramatic semi-final, Ellen White had a goal disallowed with the tightest of offsides and captain Steph Houghton missed a penalty late on after White was tripped.

Lionesses also had defender Millie Bright sent off for a second yellow card with four minutes to go for a foul on Alex Morgan.

"My players gave me everything," said Neville. "We said we wanted to leave our heart and souls on the pitch and they did. We came to the tournament and did our very best.

"We touched the hearts of a nation. I've told my players there should be no tears tonight. They should be so proud."

In a pulsating contest, the US went ahead on 10 minutes when Christen Press met Kelley O'Hara's cross with a thumping header.

The Lionesses responded brilliantly and White levelled up with a sublime first-time finish from Beth Mead's low cross.

Morgan's free header from close range restored the US lead before Keira Walsh's curling effort was superbly palmed away by Alyssa Naeher as England drove forward in search of that elusive equaliser.

The final whistle may have ended the Lionesses' dream of reaching the final, but the legacy from this tournament will live on with a generation of young girls inspired to follow in their footsteps.

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