Japan scraped through to the women's World Cup final Wednesday, after an England own goal in the final minute of overtime handed them a 2-1 victory, and the chance to face the U.S. in the tournament's deciding game.
England's “Lionesses” were attempting to overcome defending champions Japan to reach the country's first World Cup final in the women's game, and only its second since the men's team made it to, and won, the 1966 final.
Their bid was ended in the 92nd minute, after England defender Laura Bassett attempted to clear a Japanese cross, but managed to put the ball past goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and into the back of the net.
A distraught Bassett was comforted by her teammates in the aftermath of the own goal. She also received the support of her coach, who said that she had played well throughout the tournament and in the game against Japan.
"She's epitomized all the values that English football fans want to see in that white jersey when you have three lions on your chest," coach Mark Sampson said, according to CNN. "Pride, passion, never-say-die (attitude) and play for the team."
Former U.S. men's captain Landon Donavan, and Bassett's former England teammate Kelly Smith also tweeted their support.
Absolutely devastated for @laurabassett6 We all make mistakes and I hope she doesn't let this define her.
â€” Landon Donovan (@landondonovan) July 2, 2015
@laurabassett6 Hold your head up high girl. You have lead by example and been IMMENSE all tournament. We ❤️ you.
â€” Kelly Smith (@kelly_smith10) July 2, 2015
Each team scored from penalty kicks in the first half, with a goal from Japan's Aya Miyama in the 33rd minute answered by England's Fara Williams in the 40th minute.
Japan will now advance to meet the U.S. in the final on Sunday, while England will face Germany in a third-place play-off on Saturday.