England, reigning European champions, qualified for the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup on Monday by eliminating Nigeria after the penalty shoot-out (0-0.4-2 tab), while Australia defeated Denmark (2-0).
The English flirted with an early elimination, pushed on penalties by courageous and surprising Nigerians. But unlike other favorites like the United States, Germany or Canada, the Lionesses are still in the race.
For 120 minutes, Sarina Wiegman’s players were dominated by an unapologetic Nigerian side. Saved by the crossbar of their goalkeeper three times, they were also reduced to ten after the exclusion of Lauren James (87th) and played the extension in numerical inferiority.
They finally qualified after Chloe Kelly’s liberating attempt, helped by the failures of Nigeria’s first two shooters.
England will therefore play their quarter-final on Saturday against Colombia or Jamaica, without their striker Lauren James suspended.
The Super Falcons come out of the competition with honors, but without reaching the quarter-finals as at the 1999 World Cup, their best performance.
Host Country Victory
For its part, Australia, co-organizer of the World Cup, qualified on Monday by beating Denmark (2-0) in front of 76,000 spectators delighted by the victory and by the return of star Sam Kerr to the field, who has played his first fifteen minutes since the start of the competition.
Efficient, the Australians did not have to force to win, realizing the difference through Caitlin Foord, full of composure against the Danish goalkeeper (29th), and Hayley Raso with a cross shot (70th ).
The Matildas, semi-finalists at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, will meet France or Morocco in the quarter-finals of ” their “ World.
Denmark, 13th in the FIFA rankings, fails once again from the start of the knockout phase.