Australia Women vs France Women. Women's World Cup Quarter-Final.
Australia Women win 7-6 on penalties.
Match report as Cortnee Vine scored the winning penalty for Australia in a shootout against France; Mackenzie Arnold saved three penalties and missed herself; the game was goalless after 120 minutes; Australia will play England or Colombia in Wednesday's semi-final
Saturday 12 August 2023 14:01, UK
Co-hosts Australia beat France 7-6 on penalties to reach the last four of the Women's World Cup for the first time after their quarter-final finished goalless.
Australia goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold saved three French penalties and missed one herself in a dramatic shootout, with Cortnee Vine stepping up to convert the decisive spot-kick and send Australia into a semi-final against England, who beat Colombia later on Saturday.
The substitute winger raced back towards the centre circle to celebrate with her team mates as the stadium and fan zones around the country exploded in delight.
Spain will play Sweden on Tuesday in Auckland for the other spot in the final
France, who were looking to reach the semi-finals for the second time after 2011, had the better of the first half and also extra-time but will rue some missed opportunities as they head home.
Australia forward Mary Fowler had earlier spurned several chances - one stopped by a sensational block from Elisa de Almeida - and captain Sam Kerr was unable to get a clear shot on goal after being introduced as a 55th-minute substitute.
France dominated possession for much of the match and had the best of the early chances with Maelle Lakrar fluffing a golden opportunity to give Les Bleues the lead from a corner in the 12th minute.
Australia's only early chances came against the run of play from set-pieces but Fowler had as many as six as the game opened up around half-time.
Kerr entered the fray to a huge ovation in the 55th minute, her first charge forward giving Hayley Raso space for a rasping long-range shot that France's starting goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin did well to push over.
France weathered the storm triggered by the introduction of the Australia captain, however, and their 19-year-old substitute Becho was soon threatening down the other end.
The last 15 minutes of normal time was a tense but ragged affair with half chances at both ends, a theme reprised in the first half of extra-time.
Australia's Alanna Kennedy headed the ball into her own net in the 100th minute under the attentions of Wendy Renard only for the France captain to be penalised for a foul on Caitlin Foord.
France had the better of the second period with Becho lashing a shot from the edge of the box in the 107th minute that goalkeeper Arnold saved well.
That was just a precursor to her heroics in the shootout, in which she twice saved penalties from Kenza Dali with her first stop scratched off because she moved off the line before it was taken.
Australia will place England in the semi-finals of the Women's World Cup. The game will be played on Wednesday August 16 with kick-off at 11am.
Spain will play Sweden in the first semi-final will then be played on August 15 in Auckland, with Australia facing England or Colombia on August 16 at the Accor Stadium in Sydney, which will then host the final on August 20.
A third-place play-off will be played the day before the final on August 19 in Brisbane.