England beat Nigeria in a penalty shoot-out in the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup on Monday, with Chloe Kelly scoring in a decisive spot, and were fed minutes into the match at 0-0 after 120 hushed moments .
The European champions, who had a player sent off during regulation, prevailed 4-2 in the penalty shootout with goals from Beth England, Rachel Daly, and Alex Greenwood.
“It’s amazing. Whatever comes before this team, we show what we can do,” Kelly told the BBC. “We dig deep as a group and we believe in our ability.”
While England’s best scorer Lauren James, who had three goals in the group, was dismissed in the 87th minute for foul play after falling heavily on Michelle Alozi’s back, the team had to play with 10 women to advance during extra time.
Joe remarked, “This squad is fantastic. We did it in the Euro, we did it in the Finalissima (winning in a shootout over Brazil), and we’re doing it right now. Kelly with assistance was close to scoring the winning goal.And so on. More information will be available from this particular team.
Desire Oparanzoi and Alozi of Nigeria squandered opportunities that allowed Kelly to score the game-winning goal. The Manchester City forward completed his shot into the top right corner while being booed by teammates.
He described his strategy as being ‘I’ll score. That is how I see it. I’ll prevail in that mental struggle, and then we’re done.
Fourth-placed England will play either Jamaica or Colombia on Saturday in Sydney’s quarterfinal match. James will improve his reputation in at least one game.
Coach Sarina Wiegmann said the 21-year-old James “lost her emotions in a moment … It wasn’t realistically anything she did on purpose. She didn’t want to hurt anyone.
England Advances to World Cup Quarter-Finals with Dramatic Shootout Win Against Nigeria”
The Lionesses, who have won 36 of their last 37 games, looked at times like they could fall prey to another top-10 team in a World Cup match full of spectacular pressure thanks to Nigeria’s intense pressure.
“All I know is that I’m 10 years older,” Wiegman joked. “I think the match was very even. Nothing comes easy in this tournament and it’s very exciting… It’s not always the unexpected that win.”
England keeper Mary Earps, named player of the match, said the finalissima shootout in April had provided a great preparation for this Tuesday’s drama in front of 49,461 spectators at Lang Park.
“The truth is I don’t even practice shootout,” Earps said. It’s a really unique time, in a very special pressure cooker.
AGAINST ALL ODDS
Nigeria forced the Manchester United keeper to work early on and Earps stood high with some brilliant saves.
Ashley Plumptre fired a rocket from 25 yards that passed under the crossbar, then moments later he forced Earps to make a diving save with a shot from the center box.
“When you’re a kid, you dream of playing in the World Cup,” said Earps. “And it’s an old cliché, but it’s true. Huge credit goes to the players on our side tonight. The team played together very courageously against a very difficult Nigeria with big players who were brilliant and impeccable ”
England were awarded a penalty when Daly was tripped in the back by Rashidat Ajibade, but this was overturned after a VAR review.
In the second half, Daly had a great chance with a header from Greenwood’s corner, forcing goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozi to come down fast and make a save.
England took care of their own for the greater part of extra time, and replay theorist Asisat Oshoala shot from close range minutes before the final whistle, on which Earps dived over and bent to lift.
England are preparing for their sixth World Cup and are aiming to beat their best finish of third in 2015. He was number four in France four years ago.
The 40th ranked Super Falcons have been eliminated from their ninth World Cup in the second group.