World Cup heartache for Harrogate's Rachel Daly and the England Lionesses

Harrogate's Rachel Daly in action against the USA. Picture: Getty Images
Harrogate's Rachel Daly in action against the USA. Picture: Getty Images

Harrogate’s Rachel Daly suffered Women's World Cup heartache as England’s Lionesses were denied a place in the tournament’s final by the USA.

The former Rossett School pupil and her team-mates lost Tuesday’s last-four clash in agonising fashion, going down 2-1 to the reigning champions at Stade de Lyon, France.

Steph Houghton saw a late penalty saved, while a second-half Ellen White strike that appeared to have levelled matters was ruled out for offside after a video assistant referee (VAR) review.

Earlier, Christen Press had headed the USA into a 10th-minute lead before White converted a Beth Mead cross for 1-1, only for Alex Morgan to restore the American advantage with what proved to be the game's decisive goal, shortly after the half-hour mark.

Daly, who grew up playing locally for Killinghall Nomads' boy's side, was re-called to the Lionesses' starting line-up for the semi-final showdown, making her fourth appearance of the tournament.

Having played no part in England's opening win over Scotland, she made a brief cameo against Argentina then completed the full 90 in a 2-0 victory over Japan.

The 27-year-old was an unused substitute as Cameroon were dispatched in the round of 16, then arrived from the bench late on in the quarter-final success over Norway.

Returned to the starting 11 as manager Phil Neville shuffled his pack for the USA clash, Daly impressed in a right-wing role before being replaced by Georgia Stanway in the closing stages.

Full of praise for Daly and her fellow Lionesses, Neville said in the aftermath of Tuesday's defeat: "I'm proud. They have touched the hearts of the nation.

"They left everything out there. We have no regrets. We've come to the World Cup and given it our absolute all, and that's what I said to them.

."I couldn't ask for more. We've had best 46 days of our life and it's not ended yet."

England will now face the loser of the second semi-final, between Sweden and the Netherlands, in Saturday's third-place play-off in Nice.