Earlier this week, England took on Nigeria in the FIFA Women´s World Cup. The English side went into their game in the last 8 knowing USA had been knocked out. And although England were the favourites to win this match, it was actually pretty much even in terms of possession.
Despite being the underdogs, Nigeria played strong from the start, and it was Nigeria that had the first real chances at goal. Furthermore, it was two good chances in quick succession for Plumptre. The first came after 16 minutes, but although the ball beat Earps, it hit off the crossbar. The next shot came again for Plumptre a minute later. However, this time Earps got her gloves to it.
Just before the 30-minute mark, England then had a chance from a corner when Daly got to the ball, but she hit it straight to the Nigerian goalkeeper.
Then, a few minutes later, England were awarded a penalty after Daly was brought down in the box by Ajibade. But VAR reviewed the tackle and declared it a legal challenge. The penalty was overturned. It was still 0-0.
The remainder of the first half was fairly uneventful and ended 0-0 after 4 minutes of stoppage time was added.
Just into the second half, and Nigeria came close yet again, but the ball hit the woodwork and went over the net.
In the 67th minute, England wasted an opportunity to score from a corner. But almost 10 minutes later, they had another chance from a corner. This time, Greenwood aimed the ball into the box, and Daly got to it with her head. The shot was good, but somehow, Nnadozie got a hand to it and sent it away. It was still level.
Nigeria were the superior side. Then, 85 minutes in, James appeared to lose her temper and stamped on Alozie when she was down. After a VAR review of the scene, James was sent off. The first red card of the tournament. And England were one down in the crucial minutes of the game. Despite 6 minutes added for stoppage time, neither side put the ball in the net.
England now had an even tougher battle on their hands. Both teams had chances, but none that mattered as extra time also finished goalless. It was going to be decided by penalties.
England went up first and missed. But Nigeria also missed their first penalty. The second from England went into the net, and Nigeria missed again. The next 2 shots for each side went in, but the game was won by England, as Kelly took the 5th penalty kick and scored. It was 4-2 on penalties for England.
Host side, Australia are also through to the last 8 having won 2-0 against Denmark. France also won their game against Morocco by 4-0. Also on Saturday, Australia will face France.
The winners of these matches will move on to the semi-finals which will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week