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‘European Champions’ England hold off Nigeria on penalties to reach quarterfinals

‘European Champions’ England overcame a numerical disadvantage to defeat Nigeria on penalties to reach the quarterfinals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia-New Zealand 2023.

England beat Nigeria 4-2 on penalties on Sunday at Brisbane Stadium in Brisbane, Australia, in the Round of 16 after 120 minutes of 0-0 stalemate.

England, ranked No. 4 in the FIFA World Rankings, were threatened by a player being sent off in the final minute of regulation time, but held on for 30 minutes of extra time with a stiffer defense than they have shown since the win.

England are the reigning European champions, having won the 2022 Women’s European Football Championship (EURO) on home soil.

With top-four finishes in Canada 2015 and France 2019, the Three Lions will be looking to win their first ever World Cup title at the tournament.

England will face the winner of the Colombia-Jamaica match at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 12 for a spot in the semifinals.

Nigeria, ranked No. 40, failed to win its first game of the tournament.

Nigeria has made the tournament twice before, in 1999 in the United States and 2019 in France, but both times they were eliminated in the first round.

The turning point in a tight game came in the 42nd minute when England midfielder Loren James was sent off for an unsportsmanlike foul.

After tangling with Nigerian defender Michel Alozie, James stomped on Alozie’s buttocks as he got up.

The referee initially pulled out a yellow card, but after a video assistant referee (VAR) on-field review, he changed it to a red.

Nigeria headed into stoppage time with a numerical advantage, but the pendulum of the game was not tipping easily.

England’s tenacious defense kept the Nigerian attack at bay, and the game went to penalty kicks.

Nigeria were unfortunate not to capitalize on their chances in the 12th minute of extra time, when Asisat Oshoala’s curling shot from the edge of the area went straight at the goalkeeper.

In the penalty shootout, England had shots on target from all players except Georgia Stanway, who took the first kick.

On the other hand, Nigeria’s first kicker, Onome Ebi, and second kicker, Alozie, missed. 토토사이트