Hosts, England advance to last 8 in women's World Cup
Hosts France won through to the quarter-finals of the women’s World Cup on Sunday as Amandine Henry’s extra-time strike secured a tense victory over...
Valenciennes (France) (AFP): Hosts France won through to the quarter-finals of the women's World Cup on Sunday as Amandine Henry's extra-time strike secured a tense victory over Brazil to see them progress alongside England, who defeated Cameroon in a bad-tempered affair earlier.
France are desperate to follow in the footsteps of their male counterparts and win a first World Cup as hosts, and they edged out Brazil 2-1 after extra time in their last-16 clash in Le Havre thanks to captain Henry, who turned in Amel Majri's free-kick in the 106th minute at the Stade Oceane.
Les Bleues progress to a last-eight tie back in Paris next weekend, which will be a heavyweight showdown with holders the United States, provided they get the better of Spain on Monday.
"It was tense, really, really tense, against a great side. We put everything into it and never gave up," said the France coach, Corinne Diacre. France had been denied a first-half opener when Valerie Gauvin's headed effort was disallowed following a VAR review for a foul on Brazil goalkeeper Barbara, but Gauvin converted Kadidiatou Diani's assist to give the hosts the lead seven minutes into the second half.
However, Brazil hit back and a Cristiane header was turned onto the bar before Thaisa made it 1-1 just past the hour mark, her strike eventually being given having originally been disallowed for an offside against Debinha. Into extra time they went, and Lyon star Henry had the last word to spark scenes of joy in the crowd of almost 24,000.
The French could yet end up facing England in the last four, with Phil Neville's team easing through to the quarter-finals thanks to a 3-0 win over Cameroon in Valenciennes.
Goals from captain Steph Houghton, Ellen White -- her fourth of the tournament -- and Alex Greenwood at the Stade du Hainaut took England through to the next round, where they will play Norway.