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William hails Lionesses' progress

Published 28/06/2015

England's Lucy Bronze, right, celebrates her goal with teammate Steph Houghton during the first half of a quarterfinal against Canada in the Women's World Cup soccer tournament, Saturday, June 27, 2015, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)
England's Lucy Bronze, right, celebrates her goal with teammate Steph Houghton during the first half of a quarterfinal against Canada in the Women's World Cup soccer tournament, Saturday, June 27, 2015, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)
England's Alex Greenwood and Ellen White applaud the crowd following the women's World Cup quarter-final victory over Canada

The Duke of Cambridge has praised England's football team after they won a place in the Women's World Cup semi-finals for the first time.

William said he was "thrilled" to see the Lionesses progress after they beat tournament hosts Canada 2-1 in the early hours of this morning in a match staged in Vancouver.

The win, their fourth successive 2-1 victory, sets up a last-four meeting with defending champions Japan, who defeated Australia 1-0 to book their place in the next round.

The Duke, who is president of the Football Association, said he could not wait for England's semi-final clash.

He said in a statement: "Congratulations to both the English and Canadian teams for such a great game in the Women's World Cup quarter-finals.

"As president of the FA I'm thrilled to see the England women progress to the semi-finals for the first time. This team is making history and I can't wait to see them in action against Japan.

"I know a lot of people have been following the team's progress and I'm sure many more will now seize the chance to support this great moment for English football. The Lionesses are doing their country proud."

It was a memorable performance from England, who had to weather a frenetic start from their opponents at a packed-out stadium.

But they scored two goals in three minutes, with Jodie Taylor then Lucy Bronze finding the back of the net, before Canada scored just before the half-time whistle.

England men's captain Wayne Rooney, a veteran of three World Cup campaigns, was among the first to congratulate the Lionesses using his Twitter account.

He tweeted: ''England women doing the country proud. Huge congratulations on reaching the s emi finals."

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