Football: England up for the fight against Japan in Women's World Cup semi-final

England's players board the bus from the airport to their hotel after arriving in Edmonton, Alberta on June 28, 2015. England will meet Japan in the semi-finals at the Women's World Cup on Wednesday.
England's players board the bus from the airport to their hotel after arriving in Edmonton, Alberta on June 28, 2015. England will meet Japan in the semi-finals at the Women's World Cup on Wednesday.PHOTO: AFP

EDMONTON (Reuters) - England coach Mark Sampson says his Lionesses will need to have a "confrontational" approach to beat defending champions Japan in their Women's World Cup semi-final on Wednesday.

Japan wore out Australia in their quarter-final, forcing them to chase after their crisp passing for long stretches, but Sampson says while the challenge will be difficult, his team have the physical attributes for the task.

"It is tough but our team is in a good place, there is no sign of our team running out of steam at the moment," the England coach told reporters.

"We went right to the wire against Norway, right to the wire in our group games and then again against Canada, where we had to defend for our lives.

"We are in a good place physically and the physical side is going to be really important. We are going to need to be very confrontational, very positive in our play."

The victory over Canada in front of a large and partisan crowd has clearly given England a massive boost in confidence but Sampson said it also illustrated the heart and personality of his team.

"We are a tough team to score against and we are also scoring goals. We have scored two goals in each of our last four matches and we are in a great place to really attack this semi-final."

The United States and Germany meet in the other semi-final on Tuesday.