England’s incredible Women’s World Cup journey continued as they beat hosts Canada 2-1 in Vancouver to reach their first ever semi-final.
Two goals in the first 14 minutes from Jodie Taylor and Lucy Bronze stunned the majority of the 54,027 crowd packed into BC Place.
A mistake from goalkeeper Karen Bardsley gifted Christine Sinclair her 155th international goal four minutes before half-time.
But Mark Sampson’s side saw out a nervy second half to book a last-four place against holders Japan, which will be played in Edmonton on Wednesday.
The Lionesses had already made history prior to the match having won their first ever World Cup knockout match against Norway on Monday.
However, with a incentive of being the third England team, men’s or women’s and the first since 1990, to reach the semi-finals, Sampson’s side, who had been criticised for starting cautiously, shocked the hosts early on.
Taylor, who had played just 35 minutes since undergoing knee surgery nine weeks ago, was handed her first start after impressing against Norway and repaid her boss by robbing Lauren Sesselmann before firing a low shot past Erin McLeod with 11 minutes played.
Things got even better for England just three minutes later when Fara Williams’ free-kick found Lucy Bronze who looped a back past header over McLeod and in via the bar.
Canada did have their chances though with Melissa Tancredi wasting more than one opportunity.
But despite having most of the play and the pressure, it was the Lionesses who went close to adding a third when Katie Chapman’s header hit the top of the bar.
The hosts were then handed a route back into the match just before the break when Bardsley failed to hold onto Ashley Lawrence’s cross to allow Sinclair the simplest of chances to convert from six yards.
It proved to be one of the Manchester City stopper’s last acts of the game as she was replaced by Siobhan Chamberlain five minutes after the break after suffering an eye injury.
But the change between the sticks didn’t prove unsettling with England going close to a third when Taylor, who plays her club football with Portland Thorns, was well denied by McLeod.
Canada did produce one more opportunity to save their tournament seven minutes from time, but Sophie Schmidt drilled over as Lionesses saw the match out to create history for the second time in five days.
Player of the Match: Jodie Taylor