Co-hosts Australia reached the Women’s World Cup semi-finals for the first time by beating France 7-6 on Saturday in an incredible penalty shootout to set up a meeting with Colombia or England. There was little to choose between the two teams on a tense night in Brisbane, with the quarter-final ending 0-0 after 120 minutes of stalemate. Substitute Cortnee Vine turned out to be the hero for the Matildas, scoring the decisive penalty in the sudden-death shootout to send the home fans into delirium.
Australian skipper and talismanic striker Sam Kerr came off the bench in the second half to a huge reception.
But she was unable to sway the match and the French were actually the better team in extra time, with the Matildas hanging on by the end of a gruelling 120 minutes.
They went to penalties and after one miss each, Kerr stepped up to make it 2-2.
Both sides scored again and it was effectively sudden death.
Amazingly, they went all the way to 6-6, but both missed again.
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Vicki Becho then fluffed her attempt for France and Vine sealed history for Australia.