FIRST-HALF REPORT: England 1 Japan 1

England's Fara Williams celebrates after making it 1-1 against Japan.
England's Fara Williams celebrates after making it 1-1 against Japan.
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The first half of England’s World Cup semi-final clash with Japan has been a tale of two penalties.

Aya Miyama gave Japan a 32nd-minute lead from the spot, but England levelled shortly before the break thanks to a Fara Williams penalty.

Aya Miyama celebrates after opening the scoring for Japan.

Aya Miyama celebrates after opening the scoring for Japan.

The Lionesses have given a good account of themselves in the opening period and almost got off to the perfect start when Jodie Taylor shot just wide from the edge of the area after 30 seconds.

After 20 minutes, Sameshima fired over from range for Japan, before England’s Toni Duggan shot over from inside the box at the other end.

Japan broke the deadlock just after the half-hour after England’s Claire Rafferty got on the wrong side of Saori Ariyoshi and pulled her down. Captain Miyama duly converted.

But England levelled in the 40th minute. Williams smashed home the penalty after skipper Steph Houghton was brought down in the box.

Alnwick’s Lucy Bronze has played well so far. Early on, she forced a corner after attacking the space on the right wing and driving into the area. The 23-year-old also showed her defensive qualities with a nonchalant pass back to keeper Karen Bardsley using her chest.