This year wasn't the first time England reached the World Cup semi-final since 1990, FYI

Catriona Harvey-Jenner
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

When England scored twice to win against Sweden in the World Cup quarter final match last Saturday, the country's excitement was through the roof. "This is the first time we've reached the World Cup semi-finals since 1990!" supporters jubilantly cheered.

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Except, that's not strictly true. Granted, Italia '90 was the last time the male squad, led by Bobby Robson, reached the second-to-last round of the international football competition. But England's women's team? Oh, they reached the semis of the World Cup three years ago, in 2015.

It's just, no-one really seems to remember that.

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It's not exactly surprising, mind you, given how inferior women's competitive sport is perceived to be in comparison to men's. Less of the female games are broadcast on TV, so there's less awareness, leading to less sponsorship from brands and ultimately less money in the sport altogether. It's a bit of a vicious cycle.

And while we know we're not going to change all that with the click of our fingers (if only we could), we just thought it an appropriate time to remind people - while they're still amid the glow of our young male squad's success in Russia - that we've got some pretty damn good female footballers in this country, too.

The team, captained by Manchester City's Steph Houghton, beat Mexico, Colombia, Norway and even the host nation Canada to reach the semi-finals of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. Ultimately, they ended up missing out on the final after Japan beat them 2-1 in an eerily similar end-result to last night's England game against Croatia.

Photo credit: Getty Images

In an ideal world, we'd all care about women's sports just as much as we do men's. We'd have companies in fierce competition with one another to snap up female athletes other than just Serena Williams to endorse their brands. We'd have audience sizes to rival those of the men's World Cup tuning in to watch matches, triggering an influx of money to the sport from advertising, some of which could be ploughed into the development of young new female sporting talent. But sadly, that's not reality.

Photo credit: Getty Images

The number of people who have surprised themselves with how much they've got into the spirit of football over the last few weeks is incredible. Sport can be unifying; it ignites passion and brings people closer together. So why wouldn't we want to see more of it on TV in the form of women's competitions?

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