Football is a cruel game, says Lucy Bronze’s mum

Lucy Bronze grimaces after picking up an injury.
Lucy Bronze grimaces after picking up an injury.

The mother of England footballer Lucy Bronze says the team can be proud of their World Cup efforts.

The Lionesses suffered late heartache last night as they conceded a 92nd-minute goal to lose their semi-final clash with reigning champions Japan.

Despite the disappointment of the defeat, Mark Sampson’s side can look back at a successful campaign, after becoming the first England women’s team to reach the last-four of the tournament. They were also the first England side since the men’s team of 1990 to reach a World Cup semi-final.

Speaking after the 2-1 defeat to Japan, Lucy Bronze’s mother Diane, from Alnwick, said: “Everybody is so proud of them. It is not like they embarrassed themselves. They are so focussed and driven and the girls outplayed Japan for large periods. But football is a cruel game and you never know how it will end.”

England now face Germany on Saturday in the match for third place (kick off 9pm BST). Diane, who travelled over to Canada with daughter Sophie to watch the semi-final, said: “The girls will have to get back up and back on and we have to beat the Germans.”

Lucy, 23, was taken off in the 74th minute after sustaining an injury. England had looked on course to take the Olympic silver medallists to extra time after Fara Williams’s penalty cancelled out Aya Miyama’s spot-kick.

But as the game entered the 92nd minute, Bassett diverted a rare Japanese cross over goalkeeper Karen Bardsley’s head, the ball hitting the crossbar and agonisingly bouncing over the line.