The Lionesses were unable to overcome the United States on Tuesday and therefore missed out on the opportunity of progressing to their first ever World Cup final; Chelsea’s Carly Telford gave us her thoughts after the game.
England stumbled at the last hurdle and suffered heartbreak at the semi-final stage for a third consecutive time in a major tournament when the USA beat them 2-1 in Lyon.
The Americans found a breakthrough 10 minutes into the clash through a Christen Press headed effort. However, England replied shortly after when Ellen White, the Lionesses’ leading goal scorer of the tournament, fired home. Then Alex Morgan, a contender for the Golden Boot, restored the USA’s lead before the interval.
The Lionesses had a couple of game-changing moments in the second half against the reigning champions, but a disallowed goal and a saved penalty proved costly for Phil Neville’s side.
‘You could say it was luck, but we gave them too much respect,’ Telford told the official Chelsea website. ‘We gave them two very good opportunities where they’re very strong and they punished us, and then after that, you’re chasing a team that’s no.1 in the world, which is not easy.
‘We’ve had some amazing messages, and we’re just devastated that we couldn’t go one further. We put our hearts on winning this thing, and we’ve come up short.’
The Chelsea goalkeeper, who has been within the England squad since 2007, made her first appearance at a major tournament in the group stages when the Lionesses beat Argentina 1-0. She stepped up in the absence of the injured Karen Bardsley on Tuesday to record her second appearance of the tournament.
When asked about her feelings on making her second ever cap at a major tournament, she said: ‘Initially I was full of excitement, playing for England is the greatest honour in my life so playing in the semi-final in one of the biggest tournaments in the world, of course, I was excited for it.
‘But we came up short and another cap doesn’t count as anything at the moment, just disappointment.’
England lost out to Japan in Canada 2015 with the same 2-1 scoreline when ex-Blues player Laura Bassett, unfortunately steered the ball into the wrong net in stoppage time – the Chelsea goalkeeper compared the two matches.
‘It was nice to be on the pitch, not going to lie, but look the emotions were totally different. What happened in the 2015 World Cup was something that you’ll probably never see in a World Cup again.
‘I’d like to hope that we made the nation proud but look we came up short, we know we said we wanted to win this thing and we apologise to everyone for not making a final,’ she said.
Although the prestigious World Cup trophy is out of reach, the Lionesses still have a chance of bringing home the bronze medal in the third place fixture which takes place in Nice on Saturday. Sweden will be their opponents, which includes Magdalena Eriksson, Jonna Andersson and Hedvig Lindahl. They lost in the other semi-final last night against the Netherlands after the European champions scored in extra-time.
‘We’re up for it, we came here to win, but focus is on the bronze medal now. We have qualified for the Olympics which is awesome; we’ve got that next year so we might have a gold medal in another way.
‘This group, this experience has been amazing. With the amount of people who were here, American, English, other nations, it’s amazing to see where the game is going. I just hope that we’ve inspired some little girls and some little boys to put on an England shirt and want to go and play football.’
The match for third place kicks off at 4pm UK time and be watched on the BBC.