Author: Glen Maxwell
Published: 11:11 30/06/2015
England captain Steph Houghton has labelled her side’s historic World Cup semi-final against Japan as “The biggest game in English Women’s football.”
The Lionesses have reached the World Cup last four for the first time in their history and the 27-year-old Manchester City defender has revealed how proud she will be to lead them out against the defending champions in Edmonton on Thursday July 2 (00.00 BST kick-off.)
England are currently best priced 10/3 at bet365 to win the Women’s World Cup semi-final, while favourites Japan are 10/11 to triumph and the draw at 90 minutes is available at 11/5.
Speaking to the BBC, the 27-year-old was quick to praise her team-mates for joining Japan, Germany and the United States in the final four.
Houghton said: "We should be really proud of being the first women's team to get to the semi-final.
"It's the biggest game in English women's football and I can't wait."
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Houghton - who was also a quarter-finalist in the 2011 World Cup with England and with Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics - will join Sir Bobby Moore and Terry Butcher as the only players to captain England in a World Cup semi-final, the last of which was back in 1990.
She added: "In terms of English football, we have always been known to get to quarter-finals and get knocked out, so we have taken that off people's backs. We've shown we can get to a semi-final and we can play under pressure.
"English women's football is getting bigger and bigger each year and we knew the Olympics was a massive moment for us but, to go that step further, it's a huge opportunity to try and inspire young girls to play and look at us as heroes.
“That's what drives us on as well, to give them that opportunity to play international football when they are older."