England vs Japan: Watch the moment Laura Bassett's own goal saw England knocked out of the 2015 Women's World Cup

England suffered a last-gasp 2-1 defeat to reigning champions Japan to exit the Women's World Cup in the semi-finals

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The Independent Football

England has been gripped by Women's World Cup fever throughout June, with Mark Sampson's Lionesses capturing the imagination of football fans that were discovering a love for women's football.

But it all came shuddering to a heartbreaking halt when Laura Bassett’s freak own-goal deep into injury-time saw England suffer a 2-1 defeat to reigning champions Japan in the semi-final.

As the Japanese go on to face the United States in the Women’s World Cup final, England will back their bags and head home.

Aya Miyama had put Japan ahead with a first-half penalty, only for England to level with a spot-kick of their own courtesy of Fara Williams shortly before half-time.

It set the match up for a nail-biting finish that looked destined to head to extra-time and possibly penalties, but there was still time for one last attack from the Japanese and, cruelly for England, it would spell the end of their campaign.

As the ball was crossed in from the right flank, Bassett attempted to clear the threat, but only succeeded in deflecting the ball over the head of goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and in the back of the net via the crossbar.

Watch the heartbreaking moment below:

 

With practically the last kick of the game, England had been knocked out of the Women’s World Cup, but they can take some solace in that they created history in becoming the first side to reach the semi-finals of the women’s showcase tournament.

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