LAUREN JAMES could miss the rest of the World Cup after her red-card stamp shame.
The ten-player Lionesses still sealed a quarter-final spot with a dramatic 4-2 shootout win over Nigeria.
Lauren James could miss the rest of the World Cup after stamping on Michelle Alozie[/caption]
Sarina Wiegman defended James saying there was no malice in the stamp[/caption]
Lionesses boss Sarina Wiegman said: “It’s a huge lesson to learn but it’s not something she has done on purpose. She is the sweetest person.
“Look, that happens sometimes with human beings, they are in such a high intensity, emotional game, and in a split second she lost her emotions.
“She apologised and she felt really, really bad. But she doesn’t want to hurt anyone.”
James, 21, younger sister of Chelsea and England full-back Reece, gets an automatic one-match ban for her 87th-minute red card in the 0-0 draw.
But Fifa disciplinary chiefs have the power to extend that to three, meaning she would play no further part in the tournament.
Wiegman said: “This was a moment, it was a split second. It was later in the game, so players also got a little tired. She’s an inexperienced player on this stage and, yes, things happen like that.”
Losing James — whose dismissal echoed David Beckham’s at the 1998 World Cup and Wayne Rooney in 2006 — will be a huge blow to the European champions as they bid to win their first-ever global trophy.
England will play the winner of Colombia vs Jamaica in the last eight after Euros hero Chloe Kelly smashed home the winning spot-kick.
Wiegman said: “I’m proud of the team. We stuck together and showed resilience.”
On the red card, ex-Prem ref Mark Halsey said: “James can have no complaints.
“Although her foot did not come down with force on Alozie’s back, she knew exactly what she was doing and ran the risk by placing it there and got punished. When it went to VAR, it was always going to be a red for violent conduct and James will regret it because she did not need to do that.”