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Lionesses v USWNT - Player Ratings

A third consecutive World Cup semi-final stage exit for England won’t have anybody brimming with glee and nor should it. This was a match where fighters floundered, starlets stuttered, and veterans were vanquished.

This USA side was by far and away the best team Phil Neville's pride of Lionesses have faced. It was hoped, perhaps naively, that the exuberant joie de vivre supposedly fostered in the camp would see them rise to the occasion. Unfortunately, and all too typically, this proved to be a stretch too far for the imagination. Déjà vu, anybody?

Player Ratings

Carly Telford – Made a series of strong saves in the first half and it’s hard to have any bones about her efforts for the goals. But somebody whose footwork is so widely lauded, she didn’t exactly inspire confidence. 6/10

Lucy Bronze – Seriously iffy positioning on the USA opener was utterly out of character for the Lioness of Lyon. Her athleticism was a credit to the side, allowing them to break swiftly and beat the press but was sadly not enough in itself to significantly trouble their opponents. 5/10

Steph Houghton – Followed up her best game so far against Norway with an absolute stinker here. Had a quiet evening until…well, that pathetic excuse for a penalty. Having the nerve to step up to the plate is one thing but unless you’re 95% confident of hitting the back of the net best not to bother, okay? 3/10

Millie Bright – Did sweet F.A, frankly, other than commit two needless challenges to earn herself two yellow cards. Was barely missed when she was sent off. 3/10

Demi Stokes – Struggled for pace against a punchy American attack but was constantly combative in the tackle. Being hypercritical, you could complain about how she allowed Alex Morgan to get a run on her for the second goal. On balance, worked her socks off to get forward too and did put the ball on a plate for White to claim the penalty. 6/10

Keira Walsh – Gave the ball away too cheaply at times but even a broken clock is right twice a day. Her intent caused the USA all kinds of problems like when she fizzed in a diagonal ball and nearly caused the defender to put it in her own net. Tested the keeper too with a sterling 25-yard effort. 7/10

Nikita Parris – Quiet as a mouse mostly as a result of being held hostage by USA (and potential Team of the Tournament) full-back, Crystal Dunn. Made to look very average by a scintillating USA side. 5/10

Jill Scott – Fluffed a free header from a good position which would have drew England level just before the break. Looked jaded by the hour mark which is hardly a surprise having played all but 12 minutes of the campaign. Produced a snazzy flick to set-up White whose goal was agonisingly offside. 6/10

Rachel Daly – Had a game of two halves and will have frustrated England fans. Defensively didn’t put a foot wrong but, by the same token, at the other end couldn’t do anything right. Put in a shift and a half and would get full marks on effort alone. 7/10

Beth Mead – Superb assist for the opener. Slick execution in her control, touch out of the feet and the cross meant White could take full advantage of a disjointed defence. Her ability to use both feet so effectively perhaps best characterises her style of play. 8/10

Ellen White – Her deft finish for England’s opener oozed class. Despite a quiet start, she was on hand to tuck it away when her team’s first chance presented itself. Made history after netting her sixth of the tournament, becoming the highest scorer ever for England at a World Cup (men’s or women’s). Done herself and her country supremely proud. 8/10

Subs

Fran Kirby – Struggled to make a positive impact on the game after being sent on with 30 minutes to play. Did offer another dimension through the middle but England couldn’t make it count. 6/10

Jade Moore – Her addition only seemed to rock the boat a bit more and was quickly followed by one or two close shaves for England’s defence. 5/10

Georgia Stanway – Thrown on with a minute of regulation time remaining and did little other than give the fourth official an earful. 4/10