My personal blog on Scottish Women's Football
All Times British Summer Time (BST)
FULL TIME Japan 2-1 England
This is horrible.
Heartbreak for England. Kawasumi puts in a delightful ball in about to pick out Ogimi, Laura Bassett stretches to clear it behind, it loops up hits the cross bar and bounces over the line
Three minutes of stoppage time. England have a free-kick 40 yards from goal on the left, but Houghton overhits her ball.
Ogimi is booked for a foul on Chapman
England have a free-kick just inside their half. Houghton launches the ball, Kaihori gets a weak hand but England can’t take advantage.
Sakaguchi plays a brilliant long ball towards Ogimi, but Bassett makes a great tackle and Houghton clears
Karen Carney replaces Fara Williams. IF this goes to penalties, that sub could become a talking point
England have a free-kick just inside Japan’s half. Houghton picks out Chapman, but she can’t direct her header towards goal
Miyama ball picks Ogimi on the edge of the box, but she falls over and England clear.
Alex Scott’s cross picks out Toni Duggan, but the ball never falls for her and eventually Japan clear.
Claire Rafferty overhits her cross, but it nearly pays off as it hits the crossbar.
Miyama’s deep cross picks out Sakaguchi, whose header just goes wide of the far post.
Bardsley seems okay, but Lucy Bronze is off. Alex Scott replaces her.
Again Iwabuchi cuts of the wing, breaks into the box but luckily her shot goes wide of the near post. Now Karen Bardsley is down with an ankle injury.
Iwabuchi gets the better of Bronze down the left, but her cross is blocked by Laura Bassett. Bronze herself is down with injury. Possible cramp
Mana Iwabuchi replaces Shinobu Ohno. Iwabuchi scored the winner against Australia in the quarter-finals
Japan have too much space near the England box, but on several occasions, their final ball is not good enough
Williams picks out Jill Scott whose header just goes wide of the far post.
Williams corner has to be punched clear, then England win another corner
Jill Scott superbly wins the ball, then on the edge of the box, Ellen White curls the ball to the far corner, but Kaihori tips the ball round the post
Duggan sets herself up on the edge of the box and her shot hits the crossbar.
Ellen White replaces Jodie Taylor.
Japan have a free-kick, 30 yards from goal on the right channel. Miyama’s ball is played short to Sakaguchi who falls over, and gives away a free-kick herself. England should be careful of that tactic.
England have a free-kick on the half-way line. Houghton’s driven ball picks out Lucy Bronze who pulls of her marker, but she heads over.
Laura Bassett gets her pass-back terribly wrong and gives Japan a corner. Miyama’s ball is dangerously place to the near post, but England clear. Then Japan sends Ogimi into the box, but Bardsley is out quickly and bravely to claim at her legs. Great keeping.
Toni Duggan puts a good cross in, but it is just behind Jill Scott.
A Lucy Bronze long-throw causes chaos, Kumagi sticks out a foot, the ball loops high but Kaihori catches it.
England gets the second half underway
HALF-TIME Japan 1-1 England
I have to say I was concerned when Miyama put Japan ahead, but Fara Williams scored a brilliant penalty. England have played well. But here is a weird thought – Germany missed their penalty, England scored theirs. What’s happened?
And just seen a replay of Japan’s penalty. Another one that is just outside the box.
Japan have a corner. Miyama’s ball is good, but England clear.
Japan have a free-kick from 35 yards. Miyama’s ball is cleared to Utsugi whose long range effort lands on the top netting. Bardsley had it covered.
Fara Williams vs Ayumi Kaihori. WILLIAMS PLACES IT IN THE LEFT CORNER!!! WHAT A MOMENT!!!
England have a corner. Williams’ ball in falls down in the box, and in no pressure, Houghton is clipped on the ankle by Ogimi.
Good play from England, and the ball falls to Rafferty outside the box, but her right-footed shot goes wide.
Lucy Bronze’s long throw is cleared to Williams whose shot falls to Duggan in the box, but she is crowded out by four Japanese defenders and can’t get her shot off.
Aya Miyama vs Karen Bardsley. Miyama sends the keeper the wrong way with a cool penalty.
Iwashimizu’s long ball sends Ariyoshi into the box, who is pushed over by Claire Rafferty who had got onto the wrong side.
England have a free-kick on the half-way line. Houghton’s ball falls to Duggan, but her pass is intercepted. Japan counter, but Katie Chapman tracks back to tackle Kawasumi
Jill Scott is brilliant down the right, picks out Duggan but she gets her volley wrong which goes over. Better from England. They need this to continue.
Tenacious play from Toni Duggan sees her break to the byline, but her cross is caught by Kaihori.
Calm from England. Kawasumi puts a dangerous cross in looking for Ogimi, but Lucy Bronze just chests the ball back to Bardsley.
Japan once again use their passing to get into a dangerous position, but luckily for England, Miyama’s cross goes out for a goal-kick
Lucy Bronze’s long-thrown falls to Toni Duggan, whose snap shot fires over. England will be happy by the start they’ve made.
Japan have a free-kick from 40 yards. Miyama’s ball bounces awkwardly for Bardsley who gets a hand to push the ball over. The offside flag is shown for Yuki Ogimi
Japan break, Miyamaa cuts in off the edge of the box, passes to Sameshima who blasts the ball over. The speed Japan broke must be a warning to England.
England have a free-kick, just on the edge of the centre-circle. Houghton aims for Chapman, but Ayumi Kaihori claims the ball strongly.
Azusa Iwashimizu plays a superb ball sending Saori Ariyoshi to the byline, but Claire Rafferty uses her strength to shepherd the ball out for a goal-kick.
Japan have a corner. Aya Miyama’s ball is dangerous, but Steph Houghton and then Toni Duggan clear
Lucy Bronze puts in a brilliant ball into the box, but it is just too high for Katie Chapman
England have a free-kick on the right-wing. Fara Williams tries to pick out Lucy Bronze, but Japan clear
Near the byline, Rumi Utsugi tries to catch Bardsley out at her near post, but the keeper is a match.
Fara Williams sends Lucy Bronze down the right wing who wins a corner. England try a training ground corner routine, but this one doesn’t pay off.
First sign of Japan’s passing where Nahomi Kawasumi’s cross is cleared by Laura Basset
Jodie Taylor flicks the ball over Saki Kumagai, and then shoots from just outside the box, and it just goes wide of the far post. England nearly take the lead after 34 seconds.
God Save The Queen once again well received. I think, apart from USA and Canada, England’s anthem is the only one you hear the fans sing.
National Anthem Time
Less than ten minutes…my nerves are about to go through hell..
Japan are known as the Women’s Barcelona. They keep the ball brilliantly, but at times, they have been guilty of not taking their chances. They’ve only won by one-goal margins, but have only conceded two goals. But who was the last team that beat Japan in the World Cup? England.
I was born in 1989, so whilst I was technically alive for the 1990 World Cup Semi-Final, you will understand I don’t remember it. My first footballing memory was Euro 1996, and the pain of England losing to Germany on penalties. Being an England fan involves a lot of pain and suffering, which makes days like these special.
(4-4-2) Ayumi Haihori, Saori Ariyoshi, Azusa Iwashimizu, Saki Kumagai, Aya Sameshima, Nahomi Kawasumi, Mizuho Sakaguchi, Rumi Utsugi, Aya Miyama, Shinobu Ohno, Yuki Ogimi.
(4-3-3) Karen Bardsley, Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton, Laura Bassett, Claire Rafferty, Jade Moore, Fara Williams, Katie Chapman, Jill Scott, Jodie Taylor, Toni Duggan
23:26 – Team News
Japan name the same team that knocked out Australia, whilst England make just one change with Toni Duggan replacing Karen Carney
Bobby Moore, Gordon Banks, Bobby Charlton, Geoff Hurst…Is Karen Bardsley, Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton, Fara Williams going to join an unique list of players. English footballers playing in a World Cup Final? Welcome to my live-text coverage of one of the rarest events in English Sport. A World Cup Semi-Final.