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Australia will play either England or Colombia in the semi-finals.
reached Australia Women’s World Cup A first-ever semi-final saw a sold-out crowd in Brisbane ecstatic with a dramatic penalty shootout win over France.
The co-hosts have played in the quarter-finals three times, but never made it past the last eight. At home, the Matildas’ fortunes changed and history was made in a thrilling finish to the match.
Courtney Wynne, who took the 20th penalty of the shootout, won 7-6 on penalties to secure a tie against either England or Colombia.
France had a goal in extra time.
Both teams missed out on a place in the shootout – but France’s four mistakes proved costly, giving Wynne the chance to end a tense shootout and spark wild celebrations among the Australian players in front of nearly 50,000 equally jubilant fans.
As the Matildas paraded around the pitch, fans danced, waved flags and cheered on the team that had captured the imagination of a sports-loving nation.
Australian head coach Tony Gustavsson told reporters he was very proud of his team and thanked the supporters. “You are a part of this victory,” he told the crowd. “You belong on this team tonight, every person in this country.”
The French players are sad on the pitch.
It was a brutal way to beat France, especially The Blues There were plenty of chances to score during a match in which momentum shifted from one team to the other throughout.
In the end, Vicky Pecho’s miss – which struck the post to give the 19-year-old Vine the chance to send his country into a frenzy – proved to be the most costly of all.
But Mackenzie Arnold’s role should not be forgotten either. Missing a chance to seal Australia’s progress during the shootout, Australian goalkeeper Kenza Daly turned to save a spot-kick. Having to take an early penalty again, Arnold held his nerve to save Daly’s second effort as the goalkeeper was deemed to have stepped out of his goalline too early.
France head coach Herve Renard told reporters that “fate chose the winner”. “Tonight, we have to be proud of these girls who played an exceptional match,” she said. “It went right to left, left to right – it’s hard to say who deserved it.
“Congratulations to Australia, and congratulations to all the staff for a job well done.”
More to follow.