France 1, England 1
France edged England 4-3 on penalties in the Women’s World Cup
quarterfinals when England captain Faye White missed the decisive
kick on Saturday.
White’s effort – after Eugenie Le Sommer tied the scores for
France – hit the crossbar to send France through to a semifinal
against Brazil or the United States on Wednesday. The game ended
1-1 after extra time.
”It’s very beautiful. Life is great. We worked so hard for
this,” said an emotional France coach Bruno Bini. ”There’s a
certain magic to football.”
Elise Bussaglia equalized in the 88th minute following Jill
Scott’s 59th-minute goal for England before 26,395 fans at Bay
”Unfortunately, again, England get knocked out on penalties.
How boring is that?” said England coach Hope Powell.
Camille Abily, who took the first spot kick for France, had her
effort saved by Karen Bardsley. But Bussaglia, Gaetane Thiney and
Sonia Bompastor all scored. Le Sommer put all the pressure on White
after England’s Claire Rafferty drew her shot wide to the
”I’m proud (Faye) had the guts and the nerve to try and get
England to a semifinal. She’s gutted, but that’s football,” Powell
said. ”It could have happened to anybody. Unfortunately, the game
has to end some way.”
Kelly Smith, Karen Carney and Casey Stoney converted England’s
In a game thoroughly dominated by France, Scott fired England
into the lead against the run of play after Smith and Rachel Yankey
combined to set her free.
Scott cut inside to beat two defenders, looked up to see Celine
Deville off her line and unleashed a dipping shot that gave the
goalkeeper – playing in place of the suspended Berangere Sapowicz –
Bussaglia equalized when she curled a shot from the edge of the
penalty area in off the left post.
England shouldn’t have been surprised. Its three most recent
matches with France since 2006 have all been draws.
After 30 more minutes of extra time and a fateful penalty
shootout, England’s bid for history was gone. England was trying to
make its first semifinals, while attempting to overcome a poor
record against France, which it hasn’t beaten in almost 37
”I thought we had a chance with penalties because we’ve been
practicing them and Karen’s been saving all of them,” Powell
”You have to give credit to France. They pressed and pressed
and got the equalizer.”
England attacked right from the kickoff when Smith rounded
Deville only for her goalward shot to be cut out by Laura
France recovered from its shaky start with Louisa Necib
displaying wonderful control in the middle of the field, before
Abily’s effort landed on the roof of the net.
With fans doing the wave around the stands, Smith earned a
corner that caused more concern in the French defense. However, it
was but a rare push forward for England.
Thiney’s fancy footwork left two defenders standing, before
Marie-Laure Delie had a shot blocked on the edge of the penalty
area. Thiney’s effort was then blocked from a similar position.
England was rushed into conceding possession with France
applying pressure in all areas, and resorted to sending long balls
forward for Ellen White to chase.
Thiney’s thunderous volley brought the best from England ‘keeper
Karen Bardsley in the 25th.
Necib rifled the side-netting shortly afterward, after creating
space for the shot.
Bardsley was relieved to see her attempted clearance whizz over
after it rebounded off Delie’s face in the 36th, before she
deflected Necib’s swinging free kick out for a corner.
A level of frustration began to take hold for France, with
captain Sandrine Soubeyrand, Abily and Thiney all wasting good
With England coach Hope Powell looking increasingly worried in
the dugout, her side suddenly put together a few passes before the
interval, when Williams’ close-range shot was blocked out for a
Rachel Yankey shot straight at Deville as England again made the
better start after the break, before Delie’s shot flashed by the
post at the other end.
Scott headed wide from a good position in the 54th, but made no
mistake when she scored four minutes later.
It was desperate defending thereafter from England – Smith made
a goal-saving clearance shortly afterward – as France pushed
forward for the equalizer.
Bardsley’s great one-handed save denied substitute Elodie
Thomis, before Ellen White made a headed goalline clearance.
The goal came with two minutes remaining.
”We had more chances than the English,” said Abily, who was
voted player of the game despite her penalty miss.
The Lyon midfielder revealed that she took two penalties at
training the day before.
”I missed one and scored one, so I don’t think I’ll be taking
any more!,” she said
”We are overjoyed,” Bini said. ”I hope we will have more than
just one more match.”