(Reuters) - An injury time own goal from England defender Laura Bassett handed Japan a 2-1 win in their Women's World Cup semi-final in Edmonton on Wednesday as the nation credited with founding the game suffered yet more football heartache.
The tough losses have not only been restricted to England's women, with the men suffering a number of painful defeats at international tournaments following their sole World Cup win on home soil in 1966. Here are some of the country's most heart-breaking defeats.
- - -
1970 World Cup quarter-final: England 2-3 West Germany (after extra time)
Holders England were considered second favourites for the tournament behind eventual winners Brazil and were 2-0 up and cruising in their quarter-final against West Germany.
Franz Beckenbauer pulled a goal back with 20 minutes remaining, his low shot beating back-up goalkeeper Peter Bonetti, who was in the side after first-choice stopper Gordon Banks suffered food poisoning on the eve of the match.
Manager Alf Ramsey then opted to substitute key midfielders Bobby Charlton and Martin Peters to save them for a semi-final against Italy but West Germany equalised through Uwe Seeler with eight minutes remaining.
Gerd Muller then netted the winner in extra-time with Bonetti's mistakes blamed as much as Ramsey's cautious tactics for England's failure.
- - -
1990 World Cup semi-final: England 1-1 West Germany (West Germany win 4-3 on penalties)
England fell behind after an hour in Turin when Andreas Brehme's free-kick deflected off Paul Parker and over goalkeeper Peter Shilton. Gary Lineker snatched an equaliser with 10 minutes left to force extra time in a fixture famed for Paul Gascoigne's tears after he picked up a yellow card which would have ruled him out of the final.
Both sides struck the post in extra time, with the effort from England's Chris Waddle rebounding just beyond the out stretched leg of David Platt as the match went to penalties.
The shootout was level at 3-3 when the usually reliable leftback Stuart Pearce saw his effort cannon off the legs of Bodo Illgner with Waddle then blasting his effort high over the bar as the Germans went on to win the final.
- - -
1996 European Championships semi-final: England 1-1 Germany (Germany win 5-4 on penalties)
England grabbed an early lead in their semi-final at Wembley Stadium through Alan Shearer as the Paul Gascoigne-inspired side that had captivated a nation looked set to go on and claim a first European title.
However, Stefan Kuntz equalised and England were guilty of spurning chances as the match went to extra time. Gascoigne, lambasted before the tournament for drunken antics, came agonisingly close to getting his toe to a cross with the goal gaping but the match went to a penalty shootout.
The first nine penalties were all converted before young defender Gareth Southgate had his spot kick saved by Andreas Kopke to send Germany through to the final, in which Oliver Bierhoff scored a golden goal to beat the Czech Republic 2-1.
1998 World Cup Round of 16: England 2-2 Argentina (Argentina won 4-3 on penalties)
England tasted more penalty shootout heartache after a valiant effort by their 10 men following David Beckham's sending off for a petulant kick at Diego Simeone.
Gabriel Batistuta and Alan Shearer traded early penalties before 18-year-old Michael Owen produced a memorable individual effort to put England ahead in the 16th minute only for Javier Zanetti to level after a well worked free kick on halftime.
Beckham was dismissed at the start of the second half but England held firm and thought they had snatched an 81st minute winner when Sol Campbell headed home but the effort was ruled out for a Shearer elbow and extra time failed to separate them.
Paul Ince and David Batty had penalties saved as England bowed out but it was Beckham who was blamed for the exit with the Daily Mirror running a famed "10 Heroic Lions, One Stupid Boy" headline.
2011 Women's World Cup quarter-final: England 1-1 France (France win 4-3 on penalties)
England led through a Jill Scott goal early in the second half and were holding off a determined France until Elise Bussaglia curled in an 88th minute equaliser.
Effectively reduced to 10 players throughout extra-time with injured midfielder Kelly Smith unable to run after England had used all three substitutes, the Lionesses withstood wave after wave of French attack to take the match to a penalty shootout.
France missed their first spot kick and England scored their first three before Claire Rafferty and Faye White both missed as France converted their final four penalties to advance.
(Compiled by Patrick Johnston and John O'Brien in Singapore)