England were sent tumbling out of the women's World Cup at the quarter- final stage, beaten 3-0 by the European champions, Germany, in Vasteras, Sweden, last night.
Only some heroic goalkeeping from Pauline Cope kept the scoreline down against an experienced and powerful German side who were far superior in every department. The Germans also knocked England out of the latter stages of the European Championship this year.
It took Germany 40 minutes to break down England's resilience with a goal from Martina Voss. Maren Meinert made it 2-0 in the 54th minute and the prolific Heidi Mohr added a third nine minutes from the end.
Liverpool's Becky Easton and Croydon's Brenda Sempare were both booked as England's first-ever World Cup finals appearance was brought to a conclusion.
Germany will meet China in the semi-finals in Helsingborg tomorrow following their opponents' defeat of Sweden. The hosts were were beaten 5-4 on penalties in their quarter-final, the game finishing 1-1 after extra time.
The United States, the world champions, secured a convincing 4-0 victory over Japan in their quarter-final with goals from Kristine Lilly (two), Tiffeny Milbrett and Tisha Venturini.
The Americans' opponents in the semi-finals in Vasteras tomorrow will be Norway, who beat Denmark 3-1. Gro Espeseph, Linda Medalen and Hege Riise were on target for the Norwegians.