Germany and Norway are the first teams through to the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ quarter-finals after qualifying in very different circumstances.
The Germans advanced with a degree of comfort, putting three goals past Nigeria and racking up a fourth consecutive clean sheet in the process. It was considerably tougher for Norway, who prevailed on penalties after 120 minutes of open and hard-fought football in a predictably evenly-matched encounter.
Australia survived going behind once again, then an extra-time red card for Alanna Kennedy, but couldn’t recover from missing each of their first two spot-kicks in the shootout.
Germany 3-0 Nigeria
Team reporter analysis
Steffen Potter (GER)
Having lost Dzsenifer Marozsan to injury, the player around whom their team revolved going into this tournament, Germany have done extremely well to reach an eighth consecutive Women’s World Cup quarter-final. That they have managed to do so without conceding so far makes the achievement doubly impressive. What they might still lack in style, they have in cohesiveness, flexibility and the fact that several players are always capable of producing something out of the blue. With Marozsan now closer to returning, they might even dream of going further than the quarter-finals.
Ann Odong (NGA)
It is the end of the road for Nigeria’s Super Falcons. While they will be disappointed to depart France 2019 in this manner, the team met its objective of progressing from the group. There are some key lessons for Thomas Dennerby to reflect on as his team head for home. Among the positives from this tournament is the emergence of some young players who look likely to feature in the squad for many years to come.
Team reporter analysis
Philip O’Connor (NOR)
An incredible night. Norway just edged past Australia, needing penalties – all superbly dispatched – despite a slew of chances and the advantage of an extra player following that 104th-minute red card for Alanna Kennedy. Norway will need every single minute of rest following that magnificent effort before they take on either England or Cameroon in Le Havre on 27 June.
Peter Smith (AUS)
Another resilient come-from-behind performance from Australia, but this time it didn’t have a happy ending. Unusually, the Aussies ceded possession to Norway for much of the first half and, not for the first time, conceded a goal in transition during that period. There were key moments and fine margins that didn’t go the Matildas’ way, with a penalty overturned by VAR and a Sam Kerr strike ruled out for offside. But Norway’s game plan ultimately worked to a tee in a dramatic and memorable encounter.
England-Cameroon: Round of 16, Valenciennes, 17:30
France-Brazil: Round of 16, Le Havre, 21:00