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The Matildas and France engaged in a mighty tussle of a battle in the World Cup quarterfinals that needed penalties before history was made to send Australia to their first-ever World Cup semifinal.
THE moment 😍 pic.twitter.com/QRumipMVvY
— CommBank Matildas (@TheMatildas) June 25, 2020
Here is our summary of the match and our Australia women vs France player ratings.
It was yet another cagey clash in the knockouts of the World Cup with the Matildas and Les Bleus playing 120 goalless minutes before the drama of the penalty shootout arrived.
It was France that started the game brighter. Despite the deafening noise from the stands Les Blues passed the ball much better early on. They got their dangerous striker Le Sommer involved but twice her efforts flew just wide. Diani also missed a good early chance for Les Blues.
The Matildas looked very nervous for about 20 minutes but then they finally settled. Foord created a mighty melee inside the French box with mainly luck helping Les Bleus to keep the ball out of their net.
The French remained a threat on the break though and only 2 fine diving saves from West Ham’s keeper Arnold kept the score at 0-0 up until the hour mark.
The crowd went wild when early in the second half the Chelsea striker and Matildas’ all-time top goalscorer Sam Kerr came off the bench. Kerr’s introduction inspired the Aussies and they pressed hard past the hour mark.
The Matildas laid siege on the edge of the French’s box for about 20 minutes but led by their influential captain Renard the French survived the storm unpunished. Les Bleus rallied again late in regulation time.
France were also the much more aggressive team during extra time. Australia looked tired and nervous for the extra 30 minutes. They got lucky too with VAR disallowing a goal for the French and goalie Arnold coming up with 2 cat-like reflexes near the end.
Then came the DRAMA! In a mighty, unseen before at Women’s World Cup, 20-penalties shootout Australia came on top thanks to their goalkeeper Arnold saving 3 penalties. This led the Matildas to their first-ever World Cup semifinal appearance and the party began.
Australia women Player Ratings: Arnold leads the way
GK Mackenzie Arnold 9.3/10
DF Clare Hunt 7.5/10
DF Steph Catley 7.7/10
DF Alanna Kennedy 7.9/10
DF Ellie Carpenter 6.5/10
MF Hayley Raso 7.0/10
MF Caitlin Foord 7.3/10
MF Katrina Gorry 6.3/10
MF Kyra Cooney-Cross 6.9/10
FW Mary Fowler 6.9/10
FW Emily van Egmond 6.8/10
FW Sam Kerr 7.0/10
The other 2 Australian substitutions were made very late on so there was no time to rate those players.
France Player Ratings: made to rue missed chances
GK Pauline Peyraud-Magnin 7.1/10
DF Elisa de Almeida 8.4/10
DF Wendie Renard 8.5/10
DF Sekina Karachaoui 6.2/10
DF Maelle Lakrar 7.1/10
MF Grace Geyoro 6.9/10
MF Sandie Toletti 6.0/10
MF Selma Bacha 7.5/10
MF Kenza Dali 7.1/10
FW Eugennie Le Sommer 6.7/10
FW Kadidiatou Diani 7.2/10
MF Vicki Becho 6.7/10
The other 2 subs were made inside the final 20 minutes so those players were not rated.
Player of the Match: Mackenzie Arnold
Australia’s goalkeeper Arnold not only kept a decisive clean sheet over the 120 minutes of play but she also made 3 vital save in the penalty shootout. Arnold was rock-solid from start to finish and despite being asked several serious questions she answered them all with great skill and reflexes on display all match. This is why Arnold gets our vote for Player of the Match.
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