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Loughborough grads into World Cup last four

England women’s football team progressed to the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup on Saturday night, overcoming hosts Canada in a closely contested encounter.

Progressing to the last four stage for the first time in history, England were helped by Loughborough graduates Claire Rafferty and Siobhan Chamberlain, as they took a 2-1 victory.

Getting a dream start, the Lionesses were two goals to the good within 14 minutes, but Canada got once back just before half-time. In a tense second half, neither side were able to finish their chances, much to the delight of the England team, who will now face defending champions Japan in the semi-finals.

For Rafferty it was another very solid display, the Chelsea left-back one of the key members of the England team. It was a different story for Chamberlain though, who came on as substitute early in the second half after fellow goalkeeper Karen Bardsley picked up an eye injury. Given the England number one’s indifferent form during the tournament and Chamberlain’s clean sheet after coming on, the Loughborough grad could well see herself in the starting line-up for Wednesday’s match. It would be a nice story for Master of Science Chamberlain, who also played against Japan at London 2012.