Japan's Mizuho Sakaguchi (6) tries to play the ball from the turf as England's Katie Chapman defends during the first half of a semifinal in the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer tournament, Wednesday, July 1, 2015, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) The Lionesses have received a royal pep talk from Prince William before England faces defending champion Japan in a World Cup semifinal on Wednesday.
England team spokeswoman Catherine Stewart confirmed William called and wished the players and coaches good luck during a team meeting earlier in the day. The sixth-ranked Lionesses have created a buzz back home after reaching the semifinal for the first time in four tournament appearances.
They are also only England's third team - men or women - to reach the semifinal stage of the World Cup, joining the 1966 and 1990 men's squads.