England Women reached their first ever World Cup semi-final on Sunday morning after recording an historic 2-1 win over Canada Women.
Two goals in three minutes inside the opening quarter of an hour gave England a dream start, and Christine Sinclair’s reply could not prevent them from setting up a last-four meeting with Japan on July 2.
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Lauren Sesselmann’s slip allowed Jodie Taylor, starting just nine weeks after knee surgery, to fire across the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner on 11 minutes.
A second goal in as many games from Lucy Bronze soon put England two up. The Manchester City defender climbed high at the back post to head Fara Williams’ free-kick in off the underside of the crossbar.
The tournaments hosts, in front of 54,027 fans in Vancouver, were gifted a lifeline when England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley parried Ashley Lawrence’s cross and Canada’s record scorer Sinclair tapped in from close range on 43 minutes.
Mark Sampson’s side came under the cosh somewhat in the second half, but, when Sophie Schmidt blazed over on 83 minutes, Canada’s best chance to force extra-time had gone and England celebrated a famous win.
It is the first time since 1990 that any England side has reached the semi-final of a World Cup.