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Agonising 2-1 defeat for Lionesses against Japan in Women's World Cup

PUBLISHED: 09:32 02 July 2015 | UPDATED: 09:50 02 July 2015

England footballer Claire Rafferty. Picture: Headlocker for Wikipedia

England footballer Claire Rafferty. Picture: Headlocker for Wikipedia

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Defender Claire Rafferty and England team mates endure last minute semi-final heartbreak

There was heartbreak for England’s team at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 earlier this morning as they suffered an agonising 2-1 defeat against Japan in the semi-finals.

The team, which included Bromley-born defender Claire Rafferty, lost after an own goal deep in stoppage time ended their record-breaking World Cup run at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Canada.

The Lionesses had gone behind when 26-year-old Rafferty was controversially judged to have pushed an opposition player and a penalty was awarded. Television replays showed that contact was made outside the box.

However, another penalty just minutes later for England after a foul on England skipper Steph Houghton saw the score levelled by the side’s most capped player Fara Williams.

The defeat ended the side’s best ever run in the World Cup and saw fans all over the country watching the match, which started in the early hours of this morning (Thursday).

Speaking after the match England captain Steph Houghton told BBC Sport: “There’s no words to describe it really. The only thing I want to say is that I’m so proud of all the girls and staff and we’ve been on an amazing journey.

“There’s not been one player with any ounce of energy left out on that pitch, but that’s football and it can be cruel at times.”

The Lionesses now face fellow losing semi-finalists Germany in the third-place play-off on Saturday evening.

Houghton added: “I think we can hold our heads high and we have to pick ourselves up to go and play against Germany.

“The squad has shown great character and a desire to win and a big passion to play for England.

“There’s a group of girls that give everything for the jersey and we have to take that into the game on Saturday. We want to finish third if we can.”

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