England bring Canada's World Cup party to an end
By Steve Keating
VANCOUVER (Reuters) - England scored twice in three first-half minutes then held on to beat hosts Canada 2-1 on Saturday and book a spot in the Women's World Cup semi-finals against Japan.
The hosts had been hoping to secure the semi-final spot against the defending champions on Canada Day, July 1, in Edmonton but instead it was England who moved into the last four of a World Cup for the first time.
England coach Mark Sampson paid tribute to the opposition and fans.
"I have never been in a stadium as loud, as passionate for their team as that was, they couldn't have pushed us any further we had to really, really dig deep today to get the result we wanted," he told reporters.
"They've shown a desire I have never seen in an England team before to hang on in there and get us through to the next round."
Without a men's or women's World Cup title since 1966, and exasperated by another failure at the men's U21 European Championships, the "Lionesses" have become the toast of England.
"We're history makers again, only the third England team to get to a semi-final, we have now joined that 1966 and 1990 club, very, very proud of the whole group," beamed Sampson.
After conceding just one goal in four matches, Canada surrendered two in three minutes early in the opening half. Continued...