Germany 1-1 (5-4 PKs) France: Germany survives in penalties to clinch spot in semis

2 Comments

The top-ranked German side is headed to the semifinals after surviving a scare against France, advancing 5-4 on penalty kicks. Down 1-0, Celia Sasic leveled late for Germany as Silvia Neid’s side went perfect in the penalty shootout to send France packing.

France started pressing immediately, and Louisa Necib could have put Les Bleues ahead in the opening seconds. Elodie Thomis blazed down the right wing and her cross found Necib open in the box, but her shot sailed just wide.

[ RELATED: All the latest WWC news ]

The French used their speed to their advantage, as Thomis and Marie-Laure Delie continuously breezed by defenders on the right flank.

Necib had another great chance for France later in the half, controlling with her chest before firing a left-footed volley on goal, forcing Nadine Angerer to make a diving stop.

After the first 45 minutes, Germany was lucky to be holding onto a scoreless draw after one of the most impressive halves of play in the entire tournament from France.

Germany came out stronger after the break and had the first opportunity of the half, but Sarah Bouhaddi just got her fingertips to a shot destined for the bottom corner from Celia Sasic.

Bouhaddi came up big again for France in the 58th minute, getting a hand on a brilliantly struck free kick from Dzsenifer Marozsan.

With their goalkeeper keeping things level, France got on the board in the 64th minute through Louisa Necib. Necib collected a poor clearance outside the German box, and her shot deflected off Babett Peter and beat Angerer to the far post.

As the clock neared full-time Germany was thrown a lifeline as French defender Amel Marji was whistled for a handball in the box. With just over five minutes remaining, Celia Sasic stepped up to the spot and buried her penalty kick into the bottom corner as the world’s top-ranked team drew level. Sasic’s tournament-leading sixth goal meant the two teams would need extra-time to decide a winner.

After the first period of extra-time ended with the match still tied 1-1, France missed a golden opportunity to send the Germans packing. Jessice Houare sent a cross to a wide-open Gartane Thiney at the back post, who somehow missed wide as the match would be decided in penalties.

In the penalty shoot-out, each team was clinical in their finishing as both sides buried the first four shots. Celia Sasic found the bottom corner again to make Germany a perfect five-for-five, and Nadine Angerer made a save on France’s final shot from Claire Lavogez to lead the Germans into the semifinals.