The defending champions face old rivals the United States in a repeat of the 2011 final.
Post-match reaction to Japan women’s 2-1 World Cup semi-final victory over England women. “But it’ll sink in soon what they’ve achieved and how proud everyone is of their teammate… and what we’ve done to put football in our country to a place it’s never been before”.
His players wanted to win for injured defender Kozue Ando, who broke her left ankle in a tournament-opening 1-0 win over Switzerland.
Fara Williams had scored a 40th-minute penalty to cancel out Aya Miyama’s earlier spot-kick.
“Laura Bassett, without a shadow of doubt will go home a hero but we will be there for her. We will stay together and stay strong – this team are friends for life now,”.
Williams stepped up and successfully converted her second penalty of the competition, drilling into the left-hand corner beyond the outstretched arms of Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori.
The United States gained a measure of revenge the next year, downing Japan 2-1 in the Olympic women’s gold medal match. “I told my players not to be afraid of making mistakes otherwise we wouldn’t be ablt to take chances”, he said.
Japan’s “Nadeshiko” had been unable to dictate play the way they had in their five previous games, which were also won by a one-goal margin.
Japan is a patient and brilliant possession team, and it did control the ball 55 percent in the first half.
“As for the own goal, I feel sorry for the player, but Yuki Ogimi was right behind her ready to pounce, so I do not think it would have made a difference either way”, he explained. Bassett was in full stride when she reached out with her right foot, caught the ball flush and inadvertently directed it toward her net. But the ball flicked the outside of Bassett’s boot and looped over Bardsley, crossing the line via the underside of the crossbar.
“We are improving game by game and I want to give it my all in the final“.
It was a withering moment for England, which had no time – or energy – to gather itself and make a comeback. Bassett was in floods of tears after the final whistle and had to be consoled by England coach Mark Sampson as she walked off the field.
“What a tough one to take”, said England’s coach. “I’m very proud of this group and what this team has done for the game back home, I know it will have a lasting legacy”.
And Rooney, a veteran of three World Cup campaigns, was among the first to congratulate the Lionesses following their 2-1 win against Canada.
The Americans booked their spot in Sunday’s final in Vancouver after a 2-0 win over Germany in the other semifinal on Tuesday. England would’ve been a fun team to see go for the Cup.