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AFP
June 24, 2019

Norway, Germany reach FIFA World Cup quarters

Sports

AFP
June 24, 2019

PARIS: Germany cruised through to the quarter-finals of the women’s World Cup on Saturday while Sam Kerr was one of two Australian players to miss from the spot as Norway dumped out the Matildas on penalties.

Norway won 4-1 in a shoot-out following a 1-1 draw in Nice in the last 16 late on Saturday, and the 1995 winners go through to a last-eight tie against England or Cameroon.

Norway had taken the lead through Isabell Herlovsen in the first half, but Ante Milicic’s team forced extra time when Elise Kellond-Knight scored direct from a corner seven minutes from the end.

They survived when both Caroline Graham Hansen and Vilde Boe Risa hit the woodwork for the Norwegians, and the Matildas also had defender Alanna Kennedy sent off in the extra half-hour.

However, Kerr blazed over from Australia’s first penalty in the shoot-out before Emily Gielnik’s attempt was saved while Norway converted all of their efforts from 12 yards, with Ingrid Engen scoring the decisive one.

“I don’t know if there are any words to describe how I’m feeling but, more importantly, how the girls are feeling,” said dejected Australia coach Milicic. Earlier, Germany captain Alexandra Popp hailed a “perfect day” for her and her team after the 2003 and 2007 World Cup winners eased to a 3-0 victory over Nigeria in Grenoble.

Popp, 28, marked her 100th cap by heading in a 20th-minute opener for Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s team. Moments later, Lina Magull was caught on the knee inside the box by Nigerian left-back Evelyn Nwabuoku, and a penalty was given after a VAR review.

Sara Daebritz made no mistake from 12 yards, before Lea Schueller sealed the victory late on. “It was a perfect day today. We put a lot of pressure on the Nigerians and the early goal gave us stability,” Popp told broadcaster ZDF. Germany will face either Sweden or Canada, who play on Monday, in the quarter-finals next weekend.

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