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On this day in 2015: England Women reach World Cup semi-final for first time

Soccer – FIFA Womens World Cup 2015 – England Return Home – Heathrow Airport
(Image credit: Steve Parsons)

England Women reached a World Cup semi-final for the first time on this day in 2015 after holding on to beat tournament hosts Canada 2-1 in Vancouver.

Early first-half goals from Jodie Taylor and Lucy Bronze set the Lionesses up for a historic win, but they were forced to dig deep after Christine Sinclair pulled one back for Canada just before half-time.

It was the first time a senior England side – men or women – had reached the World Cup’s last four since 1990.

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The Lionesses had won a World Cup knockout game for the first time by defeating Norway 2-1 in the round of 16 and followed it up against the Canadians in front of a crowd of 54,027 at BC Place.

Taylor gave England an 11th-minute lead when she pounced on Canada skipper Lauren Sesselmann’s slip and raced on to drill a low angled finish into the bottom corner.

The Lionesses extended their lead three minutes later. Fara Williams’ diagonal free-kick into the penalty area picked out Bronze and the full-back’s header bounced down over the goal-line after hitting the crossbar.

Canada lifted the home support by reducing the deficit three minutes before the interval when England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley failed to hold on to Ashley Lawrence’s cross and Sinclair turned home the rebound.

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Taylor was denied a second goal after the restart as her goal-bound curling effort forced a brilliant save from Canada goalkeeper Erin McLeod.

England’s World Cup dream was halted in agonising fashion in their semi-final however, as defender Laura Bassett’s stoppage-time own goal clinched a 2-1 win for Japan, who went on to lose 5-2 to the USA in the final.

The Lionesses secured a third-place finish after beating fellow semi-final losers Germany 1-0 after extra time in their play-off, thanks to Williams’ 108th-minute penalty.

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