Who is Laura Bassett? Profile of the England Women's defender after unlucky own-goal knocks Lionesses out of Women's World Cup

Bassett's deflected clearance ended up in her own net to condemn England to a 2-1 defeat against Japan

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The Independent Football

Messages of support have flooded in for England defender Laura Bassett after her own goal in injury-time saw the Lionesses suffer a 2-1 Women’s World Cup semi-final defeat to Japan.

31-year-old Bassett was consoled by both her team-mates and manager Mark Sampson, but she appeared inconsolable at times as she was pictured in floods of tears following the final whistle. England had never won a knockout fixture in the Women’s World Cup, let alone reach the final of the tournament, and heading into the match hopes were high that the most unlikeliest of successes was on the cards.

However, when the centre-back’s attempted clearance looped over goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and into the net off the underside of the crossbar, England and their fans knew immediately that their time in Canada was over.

Bassett is currently signed to Women’s Super League side Notts County, but has played for a whole host of top clubs during her career. Having started out with Coventry City Ladies in 1997, Bassett moved to Birmingham City Ladies where she became captain during her eight-year stay in the Midlands – which included a brief loan spell across the Atlantic with New York Magic.

However, the then giants of the English game Arsenal came calling and snapped Bassett up in 2008, but her time with the Gunners was short-lived and she moved on to Leeds in 2009 and helping the Yorkshire outfit to win the Premier League Cup, before returning to Birmingham just a year later.

Laura Bassett looks on as she scores an own goal in the 2-1 defeat to Japan

A three-year spell with the Blues came to an end in 2013, and Bassett moved on to Chelsea Ladies where she helped the London side finish second in the 2014 FA WSL, but elected to move clubs once again to join Notts County after signing a three-year deal.

Having made her England debut back in 2003, Bassett has represented her country for 12 years and counting, and reached the half-century mark in appearances in the opening Women’s World Cup defeat to France.

Laura Bassett after her own goal

However, having been dropped to the bench for the 2-1 victory over Mexico, Bassett returned to the starting line-up for the final group game against Colombia, and remained in the side for the knockout stage wins over Norway and Canada that helped the Lionesses reach the semi-finals for the first time in their history.