Sports

BRISBANE, Australia — England forward Lauren James faces a nervous wait to discover the length of her ban after being sent off during the round-of-16 penalty shootout win against Nigeria.

FIFA told ESPN that James’ fate will be decided in due course, but the 21-year-old will definitely miss the Lionesses’ quarterfinal game against Colombia or Jamaica on Saturday.

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Manager Sarina Wiegman said James will learn from her red card and praised the mentality of the team.

James was shown a red card in the 87th minute after she deliberately stepped on Michelle Alozie who was the floor at the time. James was first shown a yellow card, but then issued a red after the referee consulted VAR.

The red card meant England played the entirety of extra time with 10 players but still managed to find a way through, winning 4-2 on penalties.

“It was a moment that was in a split-second,” Wiegman said of James. “It was later in the game so players get a little tired. She is inexperienced on this stage and in a split-second lost her emotions. She would never want to hurt someone, she is the sweetest person I know.”

Wiegman added: “Things happen, you can’t change it. It’s a huge lesson for her to learn but isn’t something she did on purpose.”

Rachel Daly said James was “disappointed” and “upset.”

“She’s a young player people forget that, they put a lot of pressure on her on the outside, media, everyone puts a lot of pressure on the kid, she’s a young girl, she’s got a lot to learn and she knows that,” Daly said.

“But ultimately it’s a team game, she’s been excellent for us and course, [we’ll] put an arm round her, help her through it and she’ll learn from it. She’s a fantastic player with a bright future ahead of her.”

Nigeria hit the bar twice but failed to find a breakthrough against an England side who had Keira Walsh starting just 10 days after she suffered the knee injury against Denmark. It’s been a turbulent tournament for England, with the Walsh injury and James’ red card and Wiegman says it’s a case of looking for solutions when problems arise.

“I’ve never experienced so many problems,” Wiegman said. “[But] that’s my job, to think of things that can happen in a game, in a tournament. You try to turn every stone and think of a solution already if things happen. We got totally tested today.

“We have had many set backs. I’m proud of the team. Lauren James was sent off we re-organised straightaway. We didn’t need more than a minute to do so. Players were tired but we showed a lot of resilience, then to go into a penalty shoot-out and do so well, it was incredible.”

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