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England learns 'football is cruel' in heartbreaking loss 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

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....