Paris: Alex Morgan scored what proved to be the winner but hailed goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher after her late penalty save from Steph Houghton allowed holders the United States to claim a dramatic 2-1 victory over England in their women’s World Cup semi-final on Tuesday. On her 30th birthday, USA co-captain Morgan headed home her sixth goal of the World Cup just after the half-hour mark in this last-four showdown to put her team back in front after Ellen White had cancelled out Christen Press’s early opener. But after an open first 45 minutes, the second half was dominated by more VAR controversy, with England having another White goal disallowed for the tightest of offside calls following a review by the Brazilian referee. Phil Neville’s team later benefited from Edina Alves Batista’s decision to award them a spot-kick when Becky Sauerbrunn made the slightest of contact with White in the box, yet Houghton’s 84th-minute kick was stopped by Naeher diving low to her right. England finished with 10 players after Millie Bright was sent off for a second yellow card late on, and the USA held out to reach the final, despite being without the injured Megan Rapinoe. “Alyssa Naeher, she should be the player of the match today. She saved our butts today,” said Morgan. They will now go on to face Sweden or the Netherlands in Sunday’s final, as they aim to win the trophy for the fourth time in eight editions. It is their third straight final, and they will hope to have Rapinoe back in time. “Megan’s got a slight strain to her hamstring so wasn’t available today,” said US coach Jill Ellis. “I feel we have a really good deep bench, so I called upon other players and I think they did a fantastic job.” It is another bitterly disappointing way for England to lose, as they go out of a third consecutive major tournament in the semi-finals. Their players cut dejected figures on the pitch at full-time. “Football can be cruel. We have had a fantastic ride. When we got the penalty I turned to my bench and said ‘we were going to win it,’ but it wasn’t to be,” Neville told the BBC.
The week began on Monday with a service at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff as Colonel-in-Chief of the 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards (The Welsh Cavalry), which is celebrating its own 60th anniversary.At the Prince’s Trust, set up by Prince Charles in 1976 using his Navy severance pay, he was praised for his “extraordinary” dedication to helping young people get their foot on the ladder to improve their lives. He was given a set of cuff links and a tie pin by Llandeilo-based jeweller Mari Thomas, who set up her business 21 years ago with the help of the Trust and had etched words in Welsh from the poem Cofio – which translates as Remembrance – by Waldo Williams for the Prince. Told she was now employing 10 people, the Prince was seen to do a small double fist pump in celebration. In the first of many speeches in the coming week, Philip Jones, director of the Prince’s Trust Cymru, said of the 1969 investiture: “It was an important day then and it’s an important day for us because since then your dedication, support and love of the Welsh people has been extraordinary – not least through the work of your Trust, the Prince’s Trust here in Wales. He will also spend time at Grade I-listed Morriston Tabernacle Chapel, which he visited in 1969, and meet members of the congregation and the local community. While the original investiture was a grand service of pomp and ceremony, this week’s anniversary celebrations will be low-key, with more than 20 engagements for the Prince and Duchess of Cornwall to meet the Welsh people and thank them for their charity work. Prince Charles enjoys cutting his cakeCredit:Getty The Prince of Wales during a memorial service in Cardiff to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the Welsh CavalryCredit:PA On July 1, 1969, a young Prince Charles offered his clasped hands to his mother and promised to be her “liege man of life and limb”, cementing his solemn investiture as the Prince of Wales. Half a lifetime later, and he is celebrating the 50th anniversary of that milestone with a week-long tour of Wales beginning with – what else – a cake. The Prince, who was formally invested by the Queen at Caernarfon Castle in north Wales at the age of 20, sipped tea from a bone china cup decorated with a red Welsh dragon today, as he accepted gifts and good wishes from locals.Cutting a large sponge cake at the Nantgarw call centres of the Prince’s Trust, he belied years of practice of such ceremonies, plunging a large knife into it and noting: “The excitement is to get it [the slice] out. It suddenly comes popping up in your face.” This year’s annual “Wales Week”, in which the Prince and Duchess of Cornwall undertake engagements in Wales, will see them retrace some of his steps of 50 years ago to commemorate the milestone.On Wednesday, he will return to Swansea, visiting Victoria Park and the Patti Pavilion, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its own city status, which was granted after the prince’s ceremony. Prince Charles at the Prince’s Trust call centre near CardiffCredit:Getty Later in the day, he visited the British Horse Loggers in Ty’n-y-Coed Forest, learning about the environmentally-friendly work they do to use trained animals rather than tractors to move felled trees. “During that time many thousands of young people have been helped into employment, to learn the life skills to get on in life, or indeed to set up their own business.” Meeting horse loggers in Ty’n-y-Coed ForestCredit:PA Prince Charles with the Queen in 1969Credit:PA The rest of the week will include events designed to celebrate Welsh arts, police, nurses, volunteers, farmers, schoolchildren and the work of the National Botanical Garden of Wales to protect local plant species. In March, the Queen and members of the Royal Family including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended a Buckingham Palace reception marking the prince’s 50th anniversary of his investiture.