England have finished fourth at the Women’s World Cup after losing 2-1 to Sweden in the third place play-off.
First half goals from Kosovare Asllani and Sofia Jakobsson put Sweden ahead before Fran Kirby’s stunning strike pulled one back for the Lionesses.
Star striker Ellen White thought she had equalised for England but her goal was ruled out by the video assistant referee (VAR) for handball.
White – the tournament’s joint top scorer with six goals – had previously had a goal disallowed by VAR during England’s 2-1 semi-final defeat against the USA.
Before her goal against Sweden was ruled out, she celebrated by mimicking taking a sip of tea – in a nod to USA player Alex Morgan who did the same thing against England.
After the match in Nice, manager Phil Neville said it was difficult for the team to get up for the play-off, which he branded a “nonsense game”.
“I don’t think I’ve seen us play better after that first 20 minutes,” he said.
“Both teams are on their knees. They gave everything.
“We came to this tournament to win it, not to finish fourth.
“My players are suffering but I’m immensely proud.”
There was a special moment during the play-off as England midfielder Karen Carney, who had announced on Friday that she would be retiring after the match, came on as a substitute to earn her 144th and final cap.
Victory would have made the campaign in France England’s joint-best performance at a Women’s World Cup, four years on from them securing bronze for the first time in Canada.
Neville will now lead Team GB’s women’s footballers at the Tokyo Olympics next year.
The USA will take on the Netherlands in the Women’s World Cup final in Lyon on Sunday at 4pm UK time.