Sunday, March 3, 2024
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Home » Impressive France, Colombia Reach World Cup Quarters

Impressive France, Colombia Reach World Cup Quarters

by Antonio Butler
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France ended Morocco’s fairy-tale run with a 4-0 thrashing on Tuesday to set up a blockbuster quarterfinal against co-host Australia, while Colombia overcame Jamaica 1-0 to advance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

France produced a masterclass in Adelaide to overwhelm debutant Morocco with goals from Kadidiatou Diani, Kenza Dali and Eugenie Le Sommer effectively sealing the result inside the opening 25 minutes.

Le Sommer added her second in the 70th minute after putting the finishing touches on a perfect cross from teenager Vicki Becho.

France will next face Australia in Brisbane on Saturday. The Matildas, who like France started the tournament sluggishly, beat Denmark 2-0 on Monday to progress into the last eight.

Having upset South Korea and Colombia to improbably reach the last 16, Morocco had hoped to continue their giant-killing run but was thwarted by a heavyweight opponent rounding into form.

It was a particularly satisfying result for France coach Herve Renard, who managed Morocco from 2016-19 and outpointed opposite number Reynald Pedros, a former player for France.

Earlier, Colombia made history as they built on the momentum to reach the last eight by knocking out Jamaica 1-0 in a round of 16 tie.

Colombia will play European champion England in Sydney on Saturday.

England advanced to the last eight after winning a dramatic penalty shootout against Nigeria on Monday.

“We came here to play seven finals,” Usme said. “We’re dreaming big, we know we can do it.”

With their engaging style of play and rabid support in the terraces, Colombia has stolen the show at their third World Cup appearance and is now the only team from the Americas still in the draw.

“This is an immense pride. It’s a home pride, a regional pride,” Colombia coach Nelson Abadia said. “Now we’re representing the whole continent. We’re representing the whole of the Americas.”

After conceding their first goal of the tournament, Jamaica’s impressive campaign ended but they emerged as a breakout team having won their first-ever World Cup match with a 1-0 victory over Panama.

They also held heavily favored France and Brazil to goalless draws.

“I’m proud of all my teammates,” Jamaica striker Khadija Shaw said.

“A lot of people didn’t think we were going to make it this far. It shows that if you believe and work hard, anything is possible.”

In front of 27,706 fans, most of whom were loudly supporting Colombia, Jamaica bravely battled against the odds with their defensive might holding firm in a dour first-half.

But Jamaica’s defence finally cracked after the interval when Usme masterfully controlled the ball and finished expertly into the bottom corner.

The goal ignited the contest and sent Colombia’s giddy fans into delirium as Jamaica then hunted for an equaliser.

Reverting from their defensive comforts, Jamaica went on the attack and had their best chance when Drew Spence, who had received a yellow card in the first-half, nearly scored on a header in the 82nd minute.

Jamaica’s hopes soon evaporated as Colombia celebrated winning a knockout game for the first time.

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