A 108th-minute penalty converted by Fara Williams gave England third place with a 1-0 win over Germany in the Women`s World Cup on Saturday.
It was a first ever win by sixth-ranked England over world number one team Germany.
The third place play-off went into extra time in Edmonton`s Commonwealth Stadium after the teams were locked 0-0 at the end of 90 minutes.
But England were awarded a penalty just minutes into the second period of extra time after Lianne Sanderson was pulled down by Tabea Kemme.
And Williams slotted in past former world goalkeeper of the year Nadine Angerer, who playing her final match for Germany, dived the wrong way.
England`s run to their first ever semi-final had ended with heartbreak when an own-goal by defender Laura Bassett in injury time handed holders Japan a 2-1 win and ticket to the final.
Germany, winners in 2003 and 2007, lost 2-0 to the United States in their semi-final.
Japan play the United States in Sunday`s final in Vancouver which will be a rematch of the 2011 championship game.
England had never beaten Germany in 20 previous meetings with their most recent loss a 3-0 drubbing at Wembley Stadium last year during which World Cup top scorer Celia Sasic scored twice.
England skipper Steph Houghton did well to back clear a goal-ward bound shot after just nine minutes in an evenly matched first half.
The defender, who had just received treatment for a painful ankle knock, lunged to clear after Jo Potter headed past her own goalkeeper Karen Bardsley following a Bianca Schmidt header across goal.
Within a minute Sasic had a chance to extend her lead of six goals on top of the Golden Boot chart but her weak shot was held by Bardsley.
Forward Ellen White headed over the bar after 26 minutes, and Germany`s Sara Daebritz missed a chance to break the deadlock just before halftime but Potter blocked her shot.
After the break Germany had the best scoring chance on 53 minutes when Sasic crossed to Daebritz whose volley was kept out by a diving Bardsley.
Eniola Aluko came off the bench on 61 minutes and had a solo run towards goal three minutes from time but Angerer recovered the ball.
But England continued to push with Jill Scott failing to finish with only Angerer to beat, while Williams saw her goal-bound effort cleared by a defender.
But the game was finally decided when was Kemme was judged to have pulled down substitute Sanderson and Williams converted.
A Sophie Schmidt header and Anja Mittag freekick failed to grab an equaliser for Germany in the final World Cup game for illustrious coach Siliva Neid.