Germany eases past underdogs Nigeria
Sam Kerr was one of two Australian players to miss her penalty as Norway beat the Matildas 4-1 in a shoot-out following an engrossing 1-1 draw on Saturday to reach the quarterfinals of the women’s World Cup.
Ingrid Engen converted the decisive spot-kick for the Norwegians after both Kerr and Emily Gielnik had failed to convert for the Australians in Nice.
Norway had earlier taken the lead through Isabell Herlovsen before being pegged back by Elise Kellond-Knight late on and taken into extra time.
It could not find a winner in the extra half-hour, despite Australia having Alanna Kennedy sent off, but the 1995 world champion had the last laugh.
It is a painful end to Australia’s hopes of at least making the last eight, as it had done at each of the last three World Cups.
However, Norway remain on course to meet its stated objective of finishing among the medals despite coming to the tournament without its biggest star, Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg.
Earlier Germany became the first team to secure its place in the last eight after Lea Schuller’s late strike completed a hard-fought 3-0 win over underdogs Nigeria on Saturday.
The two-time world champion had VAR to thank for its first two goals in a physical encounter in Grenoble, before striker Schuller sealed the win eight minutes from time.
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side is yet to concede a goal in its four games at the World Cup so far.
Captain Alexandra Popp gave Germany the lead on 20 minutes, nodding Lina Magull’s in-swinging corner inside the far post.
Magull was involved again as Germany doubled the lead minutes later.
The midfielder was caught on the knee as Nigerian left-back Evelyn Nwabouku attempted to clear a loose ball in the area.
After reviewing the incident on the touchline, the referee awarded Germany a penalty, and striker Sara Daebritz made no mistake from 12 yards.
Schuller on 82 minutes pounced on a mistake from Halimat Ayinde and smashed the ball into the bottom corner.
The results: Norway 1 (Isabell Herlovsen 31) drew with Australia 1 (Elise Kellond-Knight 83) (Norway won 4-1 in penalty shoot-out); Germany 3 (Alexandra Popp 20, Sara Daebritz 27-pen, Lea Schuller 82) bt Nigeria 0.
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