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England learns 'football is cruel' in heartbreaking loss to Japan

The ESPN FC crew discuss England's elimination from the Women's World Cup after a 2-1 defeat to Japan.

EDMONTON, Alberta -- Mark Sampson stood in the middle of the turf, arms around Laura Bassett, head in a million places. What could he say? It was the best 91 minutes England could've drawn up, and the worst minute he could've imagined. The game was tied, the clock was winding closer to penalty kicks, and Bassett tried to clear a ball that ended up bouncing into England's goal. There was nothing to say. So Sampson just let her bury her head into his chest and sob.

Read more on espnW.

Mark Sampson 'incredibly proud' of Laura Bassett and England

The ESPN FC crew discuss England's elimination from the Women's World Cup after a 2-1 defeat to Japan.

England coach Mark Sampson has paid tribute to his team after they were knocked out of the Women's World Cup in unfortunate circumstances.

Lioness' defender Laura Bassett was inconsolable after the semifinal. A deflection off her foot followed by a bounce off the crossbar led to an own goal in the final minute of stoppage time, allowing Japan to pull off a remarkable 2-1 victory on Wednesday.

"Oh, what a tough one, what a tough one to take," a red-eyed Sampson said. "I can't speak about the game....

Devastating defeat for England sends Japan to final against U.S.

The ESPN FC crew discuss England's elimination from the Women's World Cup after a 2-1 defeat to Japan.

It looked dicey for much of the second half, but the highly anticipated rematch between the United States and Japan for the Women's World Cup championship is on after the Japanese escaped with a 2-1 victory over England on an own goal from Laura Bassett in stoppage time.

Read more at espnW.