England only progressed a round in the World Cup after a penalty shoot-out. Chloe Kelly converted the decisive penalty to defeat Nigeria 4-2 and took her team to the quarter-finals.

No goal had been scored 120 minutes earlier. In front of 49,461 fans in the Brisbane stadium, England’s Lauren James, who saw the red card after an assault (87th minute), caused the negative highlight. In the quarter-finals, the Lionesses will meet Colombia or Jamaica in Sydney on Saturday, who will meet in Melbourne in the round of 16 this Tuesday (10:00 a.m. CEST/ZDF).

In the penalty shoot-out, Bayern Munich’s Georgia Stanway shot England’s first attempt wide of the goal to the left. But Nigerians Desire Oparanozie, who also shot wide, and Michelle Alozie then missed. Kelly finally made everything clear. The European champion can thus continue to dream of the first World Cup title in the history of English women’s football. At the World Cup four years ago in France, England lost to the USA (1:2) in the semi-finals.

England struggled all season against Nigeria, with the West Africans having more promising chances. Ashleigh Plumptre (17′) and Uchenna Kanu (47′), who each only hit the crossbar of the English goal, awarded the best. Referee Melissa Borjas from Honduras took back a penalty already awarded to England after a slight push by Rasheedat Ajibade against Rachel Daly (31st).

Shortly before the end of regular time, James made an unsportsmanlike act when she kicked after a duel against Michelle Alozie, who was lying on the ground. The referee, who initially showed England’s top scorer (3 tournament goals) the yellow card, revised her decision after viewing the video images and showed a smooth red.

In the 30-minute extension, England hardly put any offensive accents, Nigeria made a fresher impression. Coach Randy Waldrum’s team just didn’t have enough chances – that was to take revenge in the penalty shoot-out that followed.

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