FIFA Women’s World Cup: Ten-Player England Rally To Beat Super Falcons On Penalties

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England battled through to the quarter-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup after narrowly defeating Nigeria in a penalty shootout following a 0-0 draw at Brisbane Stadium. The Lionesses had Lauren James sent off late in normal time but saw out extra time before prevailing in a tense shootout as Chloe Kelly sent her team through to a meeting with Colombia or Jamaica.

Alozie

Nigeria had the most clear cut chances in the game as Ashleigh Plumptre’s shot from the edge of the area crashed off the bar and then the rebound saved by the English goalkeeper Mary Earps after England had failed to clear the ball.

Uchenna Kanu also headed to the cross bar from a cross in the second half before Nigeria goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie produced a fine reaction save to keep out the unmarked Daly’s header from a corner. James was sent off with three minutes remaining following a VAR review after standing on Michelle Alozie as she got up following a tussle between the two.

Extra time failed to produce a goal before Kelly scored the decisive penalty in the shootout after Nigeria had failed to hit the target with their first two spot-kicks. England has now won three Women’s World Cup Round-of-16 ties in a row.

“Lots of things are going through my head but the first thing is we stuck together as a team. It was a very, very hard game. Then we had a red card and made it through extra time and then penalties, and how we did that as a team, we just kept going.

“I’m so proud of them. It says so much about this team. Not one game has been easy. We knew before this game, we said this is not an easy game, they are very organized, very physical and that’s exactly what we saw but we made it through and I’m really happy.” Sarina Wiegman, England coach

“I’m so proud of them, to come in and play like we did tonight. We had every opportunity to get it done. Unfortunately, we couldn’t quite get it done. We had the best chances, we hit the crossbar twice. When it gets to penalties, it’s anyone’s game.” Randy Waldrum, Nigeria coach

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