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England beat Nigeria 4-2 on penalty in the Women's World Cup

england reached the womens world cup quarter finals

England reached the Women's World Cup quarter-finals with a dramatic penalty shootout win against Nigeria, despite Lauren James' red card.

Georgia Stanway missed a crucial penalty early on, but Nigeria couldn't capitalize on their chances either, missing two penalties of their own. In the end, it was Chloe Kelly's winning kick that secured England's place in the quarter-finals as European champions.

The game took a dramatic turn in the 87th minute when Lauren James was shown a red card after a VAR review for her reckless stamp on Michelle Alozie's back in a moment of frustration. Despite being down to 10 players, England fought through extra time to secure their spot in the next round, where they will face either Colombia or Jamaica at 11:30 BST on Saturday.

The match was a tense affair for England supporters in Brisbane, with the team having to endure 120 minutes of nail-biting action against a resilient Nigeria side that gave them a tough challenge throughout. Nigeria executed their gameplan impressively, frustrating England and creating problems on the counter-attack.

England had some close calls during the game, with Nigeria hitting the crossbar twice and goalkeeper Mary Earps making some crucial saves. They also thought they had a penalty in the first half, but it was overturned after a VAR review.

Despite lacking their usual fluidity, England held on and eventually triumphed in the penalty shootout to progress to the next round. The victory came as a welcome relief after seeing the USA, the back-to-back champions, knocked out of the competition the day before. England's resilience and determination were on full display in what turned out to be one of the most challenging matches under Sarina Wiegman's leadership.

The impressive tournament was marred by James' red card

Before England's last-16 tie, there was widespread admiration for James, who had been performing exceptionally well in Australia. In the previous game against China, the 21-year-old showcased her brilliance by scoring two goals and providing three assists, contributing significantly to England's convincing victory.

However, it was evident that James, despite her talent, is still relatively new to the international stage, with only 15 appearances for the national team since her debut a year ago. In the first half of the match, she struggled to make an impact as England's build-up play seemed slow and disjointed, quite different from their impressive attacking display against China.

As the game progressed, frustration seemed to mount among several England players. Fortunately, James' stamping incident did not lead to severe consequences, and the team demonstrated the resilience that has become a hallmark since Sarina Wiegman took charge in September 2021.

Nevertheless, her red card means she will miss the quarter-finals and could face further suspension if FIFA deems it necessary. Her absence will undoubtedly be felt, given that she is currently England's top scorer in the tournament and also scored the winning goal in the 1-0 victory over Denmark in the group stage.

Manager Wiegman, though anxious during the intense match, remained confident in her team's abilities. She acknowledged Nigeria's strong performance in the group stages and credited them for applying pressure effectively. While England could have done better in dealing with their press, Wiegman also emphasized giving credit to the opposition.

Nigeria departs with pride intact

Nigeria's manager, Randy Waldrum, had already praised his team's efforts in navigating a challenging group that included Olympic champions Canada, co-hosts Australia, and spirited debutants, the Republic of Ireland.

Despite a valiant display against European champions England, Waldrum acknowledged that a victory could have had significant implications for women's football development in Nigeria. However, he expressed pride in his players, stating that they can exit the tournament with their heads held high.

Throughout the competition, Nigeria demonstrated their mettle, matching up well against top teams and even maintaining clean sheets in matches against strong opponents. Waldrum expressed unwavering confidence in his team's potential and believes they can become one of the world's top teams.

England faced a formidable challenge from Nigeria, with captain Millie Bright making crucial blocks, and goalkeeper Mary Earps being put under pressure with numerous shots in the first half. Nigeria's strong performance pointed to a potential historic victory, aiming to become the first African nation to win a knockout tie.

However, England's resilience under Sarina Wiegman prevailed once again, and Chloe Kelly, known for her clutch performances, sealed the win for the Lionesses. Despite the loss, Nigeria's display showcased their bright future in women's football and left a lasting impression on the tournament.

England Line-ups

Formation: 3-4-1-2
  • 1Earps
  • 16Carter
  • 6Bright
  • 5Greenwood
  • 2Bronze
  • 8Stanway
  • 4Walsh Substituted for Zelemat 120'minutes
  • 9Daly
  • 7James Booked at 87mins
  • 23Russo Substituted for Kellyat 88'minutes
  • 11Hemp Substituted for Englandat 105'minutes


  • 3Charles
  • 10Toone
  • 12Nobbs
  • 13Hampton
  • 14Wubben-Moy
  • 15Morgan
  • 17Coombs
  • 18Kelly
  • 19England
  • 20Zelem
  • 21Roebuck
  • 22Robinson

Nigeria Line-ups

Formation: 4-2-3-1
  • 16Nnadozie
  • 22Alozie
  • 3Ohale
  • 14Demehin
  • 2Plumptre
  • 10Ucheibe
  • 18Ayinde Substituted for Echeginiat 90'minutes
  • 12Kanu Substituted for Ordegaat 81'minutes
  • 7Payne Substituted for Oparanozieat 114'minutes
  • 15Ajibade
  • 6Onumonu Substituted for Oshoalaat 58'minutes


  • 1Oluehi
  • 4Ogbonna
  • 5Ebi
  • 8Oshoala
  • 9Oparanozie
  • 11Monday
  • 17Ordega
  • 19Echegini
  • 20Imuran
  • 21Okoronkwo
  • 23Balogun


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