England women beaten by Japan in U20 World Cup semi-final
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 20/08/18 8:09pm
England U20 women's World Cup hopes came to an end on Monday as they lost 2-0 to Japan in their semi-final.
First-half goals from Riko Ueki and Jun Endo were enough to send Japan through to the final, where they will face either Spain or hosts France.
Things started promisingly for Mo Marley's side as Chloe Kelly burst forward and brought a good save from Hannah Stambaugh with a low shot bound for the bottom right-hand corner.
But Japan opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Endo teed up Ueki to send a low shot across goal into the bottom left-hand corner.
Lauren Hemp tried to find a quick response for England but her shot from the edge of the area was easy enough for the goalkeeper, and instead England quickly found themselves 2-0 down.
Hinata Miyazawa tried her luck from range and found the left-hand upright. With England keeper Sandy MacIver committed, the ball bounced kindly for Endo to nod in the rebound.
Japan sat deeper after the break, happy to frustrate England, who caught only glimpses of goal.
Alessia Russo headed Georgia Stanway's cross wide in the 65th minute before Stanway sent a free-kick well over.