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England v Japan

That's all from us, then. England have missed out on a place in the Women's World Cup final in the cruellest of circumstances; a last minute own goal from arguably their best player on the night. Gut-wrenching stuff.

A final look at the winner; Japan were on the break and looking very dangerous. Kawasumi's brilliant run down the right was capped by a wonderful cross into the box and had Bassett not stretched across, you feel it would have fallen to either Ogimi and Iwabuchi who would have surely scored.

I have no words to describe it, the only thing I have to say is that I
am so proud of all the girls and staff. We've had an amazing journey but
that's football, it can be cruel sometimes but we have to try and pick
ourselves up and play Germany on Saturday. These are a bunch of girls
that give everything for the jersey and are great people. We want to
take that into the game on Saturday. We have tried to perform and get to
the World Cup final that we wanted, but it just wasn't to be today.

England captain Steph Houghton [via BBC One]

It is really is heartbreaking. I think we have to first and foremost
congratulate the players for an incredible tournament. Laura Bassett's
name is on that score sheet but she has epitomised the team. She has been
courageous, strong and she doesn't deserve that [to score an own goal].
She is a hero, an absolute hero, that is how she will be remembered.
I've told them it's OK to cry, they left everything on the field and
it's a really tough way to go out. I'm so proud of them. We came here as
a huge underdog with the weight of a nation on our back. We had critics
and they have inspired a nation and they deserve to go home as heroes.

England manager Mark Sampson on England's defeat. [via BBC One]

Japan will go onto meet United States in the final of the 2015 Women's World Cup with a record of having won all six of their matches in normal time. But they were well and truly on the ropes at times this evening.

Poor Laura Bassett. She is inconsolable as she leaves the pitch in tears with her teammates rallying around her. That was a tremendous effort from England against the defending world champions. But they are out of the World Cup.

That came with seconds of the match remaining. England barely had time to kick off again. It doesn't get crueller than that.

That is absolutely devastating for England and Laura Bassett. Trying to clear Kawasumi excellent cross from the right, the England defender stretched across looking to get something on the ball only for her touch to lift the ball over Bardsley, off the underside of the bar and into the England net.

FULL TIME: Japan 2-1 England

Absolute heartbreak from England. Japan advance on the counter attack and it's four on four. A cross comes in from the right and Laura Bassett, arguably England's woman of the match, diverts the ball into the back of her own net in a vain attempt to clear the ball.

Goal! Japan 2-1 England

Ogimi is shown a yellow card and England have one last chance maybe to pump the ball into the box. We are well into the four minutes of injury time added on.

England, for a change, launch a long ball into the box, putting pressure on Kaihori whose punch clear is a meek one under pressure from Chapman.

Ustagi frees Iwabuchi with a wonderful left footed pass but Houghton reads it well, stepping across to usher the ball away.

Another change for England, Fara Williams comes off for Karen Carney. England taking off their best penalty taker with the score poised at 1-1?

White almost sneaks in behind the Japanese backline but she is judged offside.

As you would expect, it's got awfully cagey in this second half. Since that flurry of three chances in the space of a few minutes, England haven't worked another opening but they continue to press Japan and force mistakes.

England hit the woodwork again! Rafferty swings in a cross from deep out on the left that dips down and crashes off the top of the bar.

Lucy Bronze is down and it doesn't look good. She trots off the pitch with a grimace to be replaced by Alex Scott.

Iwabuchi makes an impact almost immediately, dancing her way in from the left, committing England defenders before drilling a shot on goal. It goes wide, but she has certainly given England something to think about in the short time she's been on the pitch.

Another change as Ohno is replaced by Iwabuchi, Japan's match-winner against Australia.

And another chance! Another excellent set piece is lifted into the box and Scott is on the end of it with a free header, but nods just wide of the post! Three golden opportunities for England.

Another chance! England are pressing Japan relentlessly and force them into a mistake as they try to pass out from the back. Bassett steps in and intercepts, moving the ball onto White, who tries to bend a left footed effort into the corner of the net only to be denied by Kaihori. Another corner

England hit the bar! Duggan controls the ball, turns sharply and rifles a powerful effort on goal from the edge of the area but watches on in agony as it rattles off the woodwork.

First change of the game comes for England as Jodie Taylor is replaced by Faye White.

Utsugi is left in a heap after a crunching challenge from Rafferty out on the right. The full back is already booked and is perhaps a tad lucky not to get in further trouble there. From the free kick, Japan try a short, intricate one but it breaks down immediately when Sameshima forgets how to control the ball.

Houghton launches another long ball into the box that Bronze leaps well to meet, but she can't keep her header down.

Mistake from Bardsley as she misjudges a back pass and concedes a corner. England partially clear but Japan keep the pressure on, sliding a neat ball out to the right for Ogimi but Bardsley redeems herself well, racing out from her goal to nick the ball away.

Lots and lots of long balls into the box from England in the early stages of this half, the latest of which sees Taylor concede a free kick for a foul on Sameshima.

Another poor decision from the referee as Duggan leaps to win a header in the Japan box. It clearly comes off Utsugi, but the decision goes against England and a goal kick is awarded.

And we are back underway for the second half.

England have hauled themselves back into this. It's a tale of two penalties and both were questionable decisions. It's tense, and that is unlikely to change in the second half.

HALF TIME: Japan 1-1 England

England may have a case in objecting to Japan's penalty, but the boot is now firmly on the other foot. It was a bit of a melee in the box that lead to England's equaliser, and Ogimi's challenge looked slightly clumsy but Houghton went down far too easily. Fara Williams wasn't too fussed though, her penalty was perfect.

A slight moment of panic for England keeper Bardsley as Utsugi's cross/shot from out on the left drops alarmingly close to the top corner of the net, but lands wide of the post.

England are level! Williams steps up and confidently sends the goalkeeper the wrong way. Superb penalty.

Goal! Japan 1-1 England (Fara Williams, 40)

Toni Duggan has he heel trodden on in the box and England can equalise!

Penalty! England

England come again, with Taylor and Duggan exchanging passes on the edge of the box before cutting it back to Rafferty but she can only scoop her shot over the bar.

On that penalty decision; there is no question it was a foul from Rafferty but England may have a case to say the initial contact took place just outside the box.

England respond well, pumping the ball back into the Japan box. It finds Duggan who for a split second, has half a yard to take the ball down and cut onto her right foot but she is then swamped by Japan defenders who hack the ball clear.

A raking through ball down the inside right frees Saori Ariyoshi who advances into the box. Rafferty tries to keep up with her, but gets the wrong side and pulls down her opponent. The ref shows no hesitation in pointing to the spot and, after a lengthy delay, captain Miyama steps up and calmly sends Bardsley the wrong way.

Goal! Japan 1-0 England (Aya Myama, 31)

Penalty! Japan

Kawasumi brings the ball down expertly with a fine first touch to slip away from Bassett. She cuts the ball back onto her left foot just as she reaches the edge of the box, allowing Bassett to nip and retrieve possession. Good tracking back from the England defender.

Jill Scott again does well out on the left, using her height advantage to take the ball down before pinging an inviting cross into the box. Duggan tries to take it first time but her volleyed effort flies tamely over the bar.

Ohno plays a neat reverse pass down the right which Utsugi can swing into the box. Bronze reads it excellently, however, and chests the ball safely back to her goalkeeper.

Jill Scott battles her way down the right flank, shrugging off Sameshima as she makes her way towards the byline. Scott desperately needs help as Japan shirts begin to swarm around her but it doesn't come and eventually she loses possession.

From that, Japan almost hit England on the counter as Miyami breaks free down the left, before cutting inside to look for Sameshima. She takes the shot on from about 25 yards out, but, leaning back, she sends it well it over the bar.

Bit of a lull in this game at the minute Houghton tries to fashion something the old fashioned way but punting a long ball into the box from her own half. Chapman is looking to cause trouble in the Japan box, but Kaihori is out to confidently pluck the ball out of the air.

England have the ball back and advance through Jodie Taylor, who slides a neat through ball into the path of Toni Duggan who tries an ambitious effort from 35 yards out that is immediately charged down.

Sameshima and Ohno exchange neat passes down the left and force a corner, the first time Japan have managed to creep in behind the backline. Miyami swings it in, but England clear.

Japan have their first sustained spell of possession but fail to work anything of real note with it. They haven't found their rhythm yet.

Jill Scot is felled just outside the box to the right, giving England another chance to take advantage of that height advantage. Williams whips it in but Iwashimizu is underneath and nuts the ball clear.

England have a clear height advantage for set pieces, but rather unusually, look to play a short one that comes to nothing.

Williams wriggles free from her marker out on the left and switches play wonderfully to free Lucy Bronze. She beats Kumagai with ease down the right, drilling a cross into the box that is deflected away for a corner.

It took just 37 seconds for England to work that opening. Japan are yet to get going since.

First chance falls to England! Jodie Taylor is on the end of a clipped through ball to the right of the box and unleashes a sweet half volley across goal that takes a bounce off the turf before skidding just wide of the far post. Fine effort.

And Japan get us off and running.

As you might have guessed, we are not the only ones staying up this evening to see if England Ladies can book their place in the final against USA.

Team news - Japan are unchanged from their quarter-final while there is one change for England as Karen Carney misses out with Toni Duggan coming in.

For just the third time in history, an England team are in the semi-finals of a World Cup. Only Sir Alf Ramsey's 1966 winners and Sir Bobby Robson's 1990 charges have been there before, but now Mark Sampson has the chance to lead England's lioness' back again.

England avoided United States and Germany in their semi-final but were fed into tonight's meeting with reigning champions Japan, meaning Sampson's side will take the field at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton firmly as underdogs.

That 1-0 defeat to France in their group opener in June seems a long way away now. 2-1 wins over Mexico, Norway and Colombia and Saturday's quarter-final victory over hosts Canada have catapulted England amongst the elite in women's football.

Tonight's opponents Japan finished below England in the group stages of 2011's edition of this tournament, only to bounce back and win the competition, doing away with Germany, Sweden and United States in the process.

Norio Sasaki's side are as formidable as they come and are yet to lose a game during this year's competition, topping Group C after recording three straight wins over Switzerland, Cameroon and Ecuador.

England's momentum poses the greatest threat to their hopes of retaining that title. Kick off is an hour away, stick with us for all your build-up.