England’s Lionesses are through to the World Cup Quarter-Finals!
England have progressed further into the Women’s World Cup after beating Nigeria on penalties in extra time.
England faced Nigeria in the round of 16 for the women’s world cup. The game started positively for Nigeria as they had their first shot of the game only 15 minutes in. Ashleigh Plumtre struck the ball outside the box, which bounced off the crossbar. She then had another attempt a few moments later, which Mary Earps saved. England had their first shot of the game in the 22nd minute. Russo hit the ball from ten yards straight into the Nigerian keeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie.
Some confusion stirred the ground in the 30th minute as Rasheedat Ajibades Elbow took out Daly inside the penalty area. The referee was adamant that it was a penalty to England but reviewed it by VAR. After reviewing the incident, the ref called out no Penalty. The last few moments of the first half saw back-and-forth possession from both sides. However, the first half finished 0-0.
Nigeria opened up the second half with a cross from Ajibade and found Uchenna Kanu inside the box, who hit the crossbar just two minutes into the second half. A big chance for England followed the game as Greenwood’s freekick found Alessia Russo’s head between the six-yard box and penalty spot. Unfortunately, she didn’t get the right touch on the ball. Nigeria then made their first substitution 58 minutes in. Ifeoma Onumonu came off for Asisat Oshoala. The game became intense. Both sides were desperate to find the back of the net. England had a close chance again in the 75th minute as Daly headered the ball towards the goal, which forced the keeper to knock it back into play. A second change for Nigeria saw Kanu swapped for Francisca Ordega.
A few moments before full-time, England had the worst happen to them and dropped to ten players. A yellow card was awarded to Lauren James after her intentionally stepping on Michelle Alozies back. However, the referee took a look over at VAR to rethink her decision, and James left the pitch once the yellow card turned into a red. With only ten players left, England made their first change of the game 84 minutes in. She took off Russo for Chole Kelly. With six munites added, the result finished 0-0 and went to extra time for half an hour. Nigeria made a change for the additional time ahead. Ayinde comes off for Jennifer Echegini.
Nigeria was desperate to finish the game as quickly as possible. Alozie had a shoot from outside the six-yard box on the left. However, her efforts went wide. The first 15 minutes finish with Nigeria having the most possession and England struggling without their extra player. England made a substitution as Beth England came on for Hemp for the final 15 minutes of play. Nigeria made their last change of the game. Payne came off for Oparanozie. The final 15 minutes finished 0-0, and the game went to penalties.
England was first to kickstart the shootout as Georgia Stanway went to the penalty spot. Unfortunately, her shot went wide. Oparanozie steps up for Nigeria, whose shot is a replay of the first penalty as it went wide again. Beth England took her penalty and struck it straight into the middle of the goal, 1-0 to England. Alozies penalty for Nigeria goes over the crossbar. Daly Pentalty hit the roof of the net and doubled the score to 2-0 for England. Ajibades’ shot for Nigeria went down the middle past Earps to take the score to 2-1. Greenwood sent the keeper the other way, and her penalty landed in the right-hand side of the net to make it 3-1. Ucheibe takes the next penalty for Nigeria, and it goes top right, 3-2. However, it was Chole Kelly’s penalty that won the game for England as she smacked the last penalty into the back of the net, sending the Lionesses through to the quarter-finals of the world cup.