FOOTBALL – Two matches are being played today bringing the quarter-finals to an end. First up is Australia v France followed by England v Colombia.
Spain and Sweden have already qualified for the semi-finals after their respective wins against the Netherlands and Japan. They will face each other on Tuesday at 10.00 am (Spanish time)
Australia v France
Going into the game, Australia had the advantage of being the home side and the support of their fans. Furthermore, they had never lost against France while playing on their home turf. However, the Matildas had also never won a quarter-final of the World Cup.
The first chance of the match came from the French side, when 8 minutes in, a shot from Dani went wide of the goal. A few minutes later, they got a second good chance from a corner kick. But although it was close range, Lakrar hit it over the bar. The French team were the better side during the first half, until a few minutes before the half-time whistle, when after due to a mix up on the French team, Van Egmond took advantage and passed the ball to Fowler in front of an open goal. However, De Almeida managed to dive and deflected the ball behind.
The first half ended 0-0.
While the first half was dominated by France, Australia came out strong in the second half. Ten minutes in and Raso had a good shot at goal for Australia, but the French keeper had an equally good save.
It really is a game of two halves. Australia were the dominant side in the second half. On the hour mark, a chance came for Fowler, but it was stopped by French keeper. But, with 20 minutes to go, the two sides were more or less level in terms of possession. However, the full time whistle sounded and the game went to extra time.
On the 100-minute mark, a goal is disallowed for France. Reard headered the ball into the net, but as the cross came in for her, she brought Foord down.
Five minutes later, and substitute Vine shot just wide of goal. Both sides in extra time had good chances. Nothing separated them, and as such, the game went to penalties.
Even on penalties, the two sides were well matched. France were up first and missed while Australia won. Next up, France scored, and Australia missed. Both sides won the third and fourth shots, and lost the fifth shots. France and Australia both won the next three and lost the one after. It was totally level until Becho missed for France, and Vine scored winner to put the Matildas through to the semi-finals.