“It’s OK to cry.”
That’s what England coach Mark Sampson told his team following a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Japan in the semifinal of the Women’s World Cup on Wednesday.
And no English player had more tears flowing than Laura Bassett.
In the 92nd minute, Bassett slid to try and clear a potential through pass out of the path of a Japanese forward and inadvertently knocked the ball into her own net.
It was, in the most plain and simple terms, the most agonizing way for England — or any team — to lose.