England were beaten 2-1 by the United States are out of the 2019 Women’s World Cup after a dramatic semi-final in Lyon.
Christen Press gave United States the lead and while Ellen White levelled it up soon after, Alex Morgan’s goal restored the lead before the interval. The drama, if not the goals, came after the break when White had a goal disallowed for offside after a VAR review then won a penalty in similar circumstances.
- England out after VAR drama
- As it happened in Lyon
Lionesses captain Steph Houghton’s tame penalty was saved and when her centre-back partner Millie Bright was sent off late on, Phil Neville’s hopes of glory were over.
Take a look at our player ratings from the game here…
Carly Telford – 6
Karen Bardsley’s hamstring injury thrust Telford into the spotlight. The experienced Chelsea goalkeeper did get a taste of it against Argentina after not getting on the pitch in 2007 or 2015 but she was thrown in at the deep end here. There were a couple of impressive saves from Rose Lavelle but the two headed goals exposed a lack of height and reach.
Lucy Bronze – 6
England’s star player, the best in world according to Neville, was primed for a game-defining clash with Megan Rapinoe but it was Press up against her and she was the one who got the better of bronze for the opening goal. The right-back got under the ball and could not recover. In general play, Bronze impressed but couldn’t turn it England’s way.
Steph Houghton – 5
The captain has been a rock at the back for so long and her experience was always going to be vital against the United States but this was not her night. Houghton stepped up to take the late penalty but it was poorly struck. Overall, it was a difficult evening with passes going astray and the commendable desire to pass out from the back often inviting pressure.
Millie Bright – 5
There was some suggestion in the build-up that she could be targeted – a fear exacerbated when nutmegged by Lavelle early on. Bright did come up with a crucial block soon after but an arm in the face of Morgan earned a yellow card in the first half and a clumsy lunge in the latter stages ended her World Cup, meaning England were a player down at the end.
Demi Stokes – 6
The Manchester City player won the battle ahead of Alex Greenwood to start at left-back because of her greater defensive credentials but this was a difficult evening for Stokes. Tobin Heath was given too much space at times and when Morgan was able to isolate Stokes for the second goal, the striker’s movement was too much for the England player.
Keira Walsh – 7
This was the biggest test yet for one of the breakout stars at the SheBelieves Cup and the youngest player in the England line-up showed some of her quality. It was a wonderful pass to Beth Mead in the build-up to Ellen White’s equaliser and Walsh forced a fine save soon after with a crisp strike. Not everything came off but it was a promising performance.
Jill Scott – 6
The most capped and oldest player in England’s starting line-up, there was a big onus on Scott to impose herself in midfield but as part of a midfield two against this United States side that was not always easy. Continued to cover the ground though and came into it as it wore on, producing a moment of class to find White for what looked like England’s second.
Rachel Daly – 7
Daly knows all about the States having been playing club football there for years and was given the role on the right wing in advance of Bronze, presumably to nullify the United States strength on that side. Worked hard in that respect and showed some good touches but could not find the perfect cross that was required when the space did open up.
Beth Mead – 7
Mead has been one of the big winners under Neville, scoring twice in the SheBelieves Cup, and it was her excellent supply from the left wing that got England back into the game. An expert first touch with her right foot and a good delivery with the left set up Ellen White’s equaliser and Mead is clearly one of those who has enhanced her reputation in France.
Nikita Parris – 6
After being one of the most exciting players for England at this tournament, Parris struggled to make the same impact in the semi-final in the city that she will be calling home next season. Her partnership with Bronze has been an important weapon for Neville but pushed up alongside White, the speedy forward was not able to make much of an impression.
Ellen White – 8
Going for the Golden Boot in this tournament with five goals going into it, White made it six with an instinctive finish and might have had more. Firstly, she converted a left-footed chance that was disallowed for offside and then got caught when about to pass the ball into the net for an equaliser late on, winning a penalty for England. A superb tournament.
SUBSFran Kirby – 7
Introducing Kirby from the bench was always part of the plan for Neville with the hope being that the 26-year-old could link up well with White. She did better than that – threading the pass through to Stokes that led to England winning a late penalty.