England had to work hard to eliminate the surprising Colombians. They will meet Australia, who beat France on penalties, in the semi-final. The other semi-final will pit Sweden against Spain.
England, the reigning European champions, pulled off a narrow victory over Colombia, the surprise guests in the quarter-finals, on Saturday 12 August in Sydney.
France’s women’s team, who struggled at first but were tenacious later on, were eliminated from the World Cup on Saturday after an interminable penalty shoot-out against Australia (0-0, 7-6), driven on by their fans in Brisbane and seeing their hopes of reaching the semi-finals once again evaporate.
In contrast, the Australians have already made a success of their World Cup on home soil, reaching the semi-finals for the first time in their history.
The revolution begun in the spring by the charismatic coach of Les Bleues, Hervé Renard, who took over the reins of the women’s team against all odds and for the first time in his career, has not had the desired outcome.
The French women’s mentality, Renard’s main focus for improvement, failed to hold up in extra time, despite some clear-cut chances (107, 110, 120) and an interminable penalty shoot-out lasting until the tenth attempt.
The expected clash in this quarter-final, the fourth for the two nations in a World Cup, was not always on the cards, especially in the first half, when the Australians seemed stunned by the event. They woke up late on.