Lucy Bronze feels England have an edge over their fellow Women’s World Cup semi-finalists because they are “more hungry” to reach a final.
The Lionesses face holders the United States at Lyon’s Groupama Stadium on Tuesday, with Euro 2017 champions Holland taking on Sweden, who were runners-up at the 2016 Olympics, at the same venue in the other last-four game 24 hours later.
England were beaten in the semis of the 2015 World Cup and the Euros two years ago.
— Lionesses (@Lionesses) July 1, 2019
And right-back Bronze said: “We’ve had back-to-back semi-finals, which is an amazing feat for this team, but we’re short of that last step and we’ve still got that hunger.
“And especially now – you look at the four teams left. The Olympics, the World Cup, the Euros – these other three teams have reached finals in recent years.
“So we have probably got that edge, where we are a little bit more hungry for it, we are maybe more destined and want to go to a final in that respect.”
Regarding the dramatic 2-1 loss to Japan in the 2015 match – England’s first ever Women’s World Cup semi-final – which was settled by Laura Bassett’s stoppage-time own-goal, Bronze said: “I think from losses and bad things, you learn more than you ever will from winning.
“And I think there’s no more of a brutal way to have lost a game than the way we did in a World Cup semi-final of all things.
“So I think from that we’ve learned more than anybody could ever learn from any other defeat or any other game, which is probably why we are a little bit more resilient.”
The US, the three-time winners who top the world rankings, have made it into the last four in France after 2-1 wins against Spain in the last 16 and then hosts France in the quarter-finals.
Bronze said: “I think they’re a great team – they are the world number ones, the holders of the World Cup and they will always have a great team.
“But I think teams have started knocking on the door, getting closer and closer, and that kind of spurs other teams on to go, ‘Oh, maybe we can do that as well’.
“They’re just as beatable as anybody else. Anybody could be lifting this trophy at the end of this tournament.”