laura bassett england

Scientists in the USA have discovered that failure is intrinsically linked to English football’s DNA, as their women’s side bowed out of the World Cup in the most dramatic fashion imaginable.

An unexpected run to the semi-final came to an end in epic style as Laura Bassett’s own goal deep into injury time sent Japan into a final appearance against the US, and England on the next flight out of Canada.

MIT researcher Kendrick Sevier said: ‘We had known for some time that England and sporting failure went hand-in-hand, but last night’s defeat confirmed it for us; there is nothing they can do about it, it’s in their DNA.

‘Think back to all of the men’s teams most gut-wrenching defeats – the penalty defeats to Germany in (the World Cup semi-final in) 1990 and (defeat at the same stage of the European Championships of) 1996. Waddle’s balloon into the Turin crowd, Gascoigne missing the cross by a stud’s length. Both times, they played superbly, ‘out of their skin’ as you like to say. But still they lost. It was fated to be that way. They’re born losers’.

Despite yesterday’s defeat, public reaction to England’s exit has been overwhelmingly positive, with Sevier suggesting: ‘I think that’s easy to explain: unlike their male counterparts, this team are genuinely likeable. It’s a rare thing to see in modern football, for sure’.

England will have to console themselves with a game against Germany in the third-fourth place playoff, which takes place in Edmonton on July 4.