Goals from Alex Morgan and Christen Press gave the United States of America a 2-1 victory over a high-spirited English side on Tuesday to seal their third consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Press and Morgan scored with headers either side of Ellen White’s instinctive equaliser, in a tense first half of the first semi-final of the tournament in France.
England’s dreams of reaching their first Women’s World Cup final were dashed, when Steph Houghton’s late penalty was saved by the defending champions’ goalkeeper.
The England captain’s 84th-minute spot-kick was caught by Alyssa Naeher, shortly before centre-back, Millie Bright, was sent off for a second bookable offence, as the Lionesses exited at the last-four stage of a tournament for the third time in a row.
Phil Neville’s side improved after the break, and White thought she had equalised with a low strike from Jill Scott’s flicked through ball. Her effort was ruled out by the video assistant referee (VAR) review after she was found to be marginally offside.
White was then brought down in the area and Phil Neville’s side were awarded a penalty after another VAR review.
But Houghton could not convert from the spot to possibly take the game to extra-time, and the English side’s wait for a senior team to reach a first major final since 1966 goes on.
The USA, who were supported by the majority of the 53,512 fans in Stade de Lyon. They will now bid for a record fourth title when they face either Sweden or European champions the Netherlands on Sunday.
The two sides meet on Wednesday in the second semi-final, with the losers taking on England in Nice in Saturday’s third-place play-off.