Matildas hold World Cup dream alive with epic penalty shootout win over France | Girls’s World Cup 2023

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Even when the solar went down over balmy Brisbane the warmth didn’t dissipate for a second as Australia and France fought for his or her spot within the semi-finals over greater than three hours. Regulation time ended goalless, as did half-hour of extra-time, and a wide ranging penalty shootout was required to separate these two sides.

In her first Girls’s World Cup, substitute Cortnee Vine stepped up because the host nation’s tenth penalty-taker, and have become Australia’s hero as she despatched the Matildas by means of to the semi-finals for the primary time within the workforce’s historical past.

Three shootout saves from goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold, regardless of smacking her personal kick into the upright, set the tone for the denouement to a rollercoaster night in Brisbane and earned her participant of the match standing.

The center-stopping, historic victory got here after a hard-fought recreation, with France shortly showcasing their sharp attacking prowess and sending shivers by means of the virtually utterly inexperienced and gold crowd. The hits got here quick down the left flank as Sakina Karchaoui and Selma Bacha equipped Kadidiatou Diani and Eugenie Le Sommer within the centre.

The tempo with which France stormed in direction of Australia’s defence within the opening minutes despatched a nervous hush over the almost 50,000-strong crowd. And there have been indicators of nervousness on the pitch too, which Diani took benefit of within the seventh minute when Matildas centre-back Alanna Kennedy’s tried clearance went straight up within the air. As Diani pounced on the dropping ball Kennedy was already on the again foot and will do nothing however snatch at her shirt – for which she one way or the other averted a reserving. Diani’s shot throughout the face of purpose went out previous the far put up however the defence appeared rattled. It was an early hand-in-mouth second that might be repeated for either side all through the more and more tense and chaotic do-or-die recreation.

For a lot of the primary half the inexperienced and gold crowd hummed together with occasional outbursts for lengthy balls ahead, footage of Sam Kerr on the bench, and any contact from Mary Fowler, who donned her black gloves regardless of the afternoon temperature reaching greater than 20C.

As the sunshine pale, the noise stage within the stadium ratcheted up a number of notches, and so too did the power on the pitch. It was Fowler who simply earlier than the top of the half was offered the clearest likelihood on an open purpose, just for it to be deflected by Elisa De Almeida’s thigh.

It took simply 10 minutes of the second half for Tony Gustavsson to play his Kerr card. The striker took to the pitch instead of Emily van Egmond to the loudest ovation of the night time to that time.

Kerr’s first motion was to catch her boot within the turf and stumble, however it was adopted shortly by a blistering run with the ball to the sting of the world earlier than a in the reduction of to Hayley Raso who’s belter pressured a flying save from Pauline Peyraud-Magnin. The power had shifted immediately, however nonetheless probabilities weren’t transformed.

Nonetheless goalless with solely 10 minutes left of regulation time, frustrations appeared to succeed in boiling level on the pitch and sideline. Tackles late, shirts tugged at, coaches fume from behind their white-dashed line.

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With almost 50,000 folks on the sting of their seats, issues took a wierd flip within the first half of extra-time when French substitute Vicki Becho appeared to take the ball effectively over the baseline just for it to go unnoticed, a lot to the displeasure of the gang behind the purpose.

In a flash of gold shirts, the next nook resulted within the ball discovering the again of the online off Kennedy’s head, just for the referee to rule she was dragged down by Renard. The look on Kennedy’s face advised the story of simply how shut Australia got here to packing up their camp at that time.

Australia will now face both England or Columbia within the semi-final subsequent week in Sydney.

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