To listen click here
Aug 13 – Co-hosts Australia advanced to the FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinals for the first time after defeating France 7-6 in a spot shootout following a 0-0 tie, while England defeated Colombia 2-1.
According to Xinhua, the Matildas will play England in a blockbuster in Sydney on Wednesday, while Spain and Sweden will play the day before at Eden Park.
This group of four semifinalists ensures that a first-time World Cup winner will be crowned this year.
The quarterfinal in Brisbane concluded goalless after a nail-biting 120 minutes between Australia and France.
Australia squandered two chances to win the shootout, including one from custodian Mackenzie Arnold, whose attempted winner slammed into the post.
But Arnold was Australia’s hero, save three shots before ice-cold Cortnee Vine calmly converted in front of 49,461 people at Brisbane Stadium.
It concluded the tournament’s longest shootout in history, with both teams having 10 spot-kicks each.
“I’m just speechless right now to be honest,” said Arnold, the player of the match. “I could have won the game for the girls and I missed it, but they rallied around me and just kept me in it.”
“At the end of the day it’s my job to keep the ball out of the net and thankfully I could do that for them.”
“I think we’ll have maybe tonight to celebrate it and then tomorrow we’ll review it and move on to the next game.”
France’s attempt for a second semifinal appearance ended in disappointment after they controlled long swaths of the game but couldn’t break down Australia’s tenacious defence.
“There were a couple of things that could have gone the other way,” France coach Herve Renard said.
“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to quite clinch that win. I’ve got nothing to criticize, everyone worked exceptionally hard.”
After being outplayed before the break, the return of talismanic skipper Sam Kerr, who came on as a substitute early in the second half, fired up Australia.
But she was unable to score as the game went into a thrilling shootout.
England terminated Colombia’s remarkable campaign in the latter quarterfinals with a comeback victory, keeping their hope for a first title alive.
Colombia dominated the early exchanges, bolstered by their noisy fans, who made up the majority of the 75,784 audience in Sydney.
They rightfully took the lead late in the first half when Leicy Santos lobbed custodian Mary Earps.
But England responded immediately when Colombia custodian Catalina Perez fumbled, allowing Lauren Hemp to equalise.
The Lionesses took the lead in the 63rd minute when Georgia Stanway’s brilliant through-ball found Alessia Russo, who shot into the net.
Colombia never gave up, but wasted late chances to equalise as England celebrated on the final whistle, setting up a tense encounter with Australia.
It will be their third semifinal appearance in a row.
Colombia was the final team from the Americas to remain in the draw, following the early exits of powerhouses the United States, Brazil, and Canada.