Germany moves past France on penalty kicks
Nadine Angerer stops Claire Lavogez on the final shootout attempt as Germans advance.
GERMANY 1 ( 5) FRANCE 1 ( 4)
MONTREAL — Germany Coach Silvia Neid needed f ive volunteers for the shootout that could beat France and put the two- time Women’s World Cup champions into the semifinals. She got four. Some of her players were looking down at their shoes. Others were on the bench, nursing the wounds they picked up during 120 minutes of physical play on artificial turf that left France’s Kheira Hamraoui on the sideline, her face soaked in blood, begging to get back into the game.
Midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan, who had twisted an ankle, said she would try.
“I don’t know how she did it, to walk up to the spot,” Neid recalled with amazement. “I said, ‘ Oh, my goodness. If we have to continue, somebody has to go.’ ”
All f ive Germans converted, then Nadine Angerer stopped Claire Lavogez on the f inal shootout attempt and Germany beat France, 5- 4 on penalty kicks, after a 1- 1 tie Friday.
“France is an extremely good team. We all saw it,” said Neid, whose team will play the United States in the semifinals Tuesday.
“We had to play for 120 minutes today, and we will have to rest. We have some injured players,” she said. “But we are among the best four teams in the world, and maybe there is some more life left in us.”
Celia Sasic tied the score in the 84th minute, and Angerer stopped the one shootout attempt top- ranked Germany needed for its first World Cup win on penalty kicks. The 2003 and ’ 07 champions have a chance to add another trophy after their win over No. 3 France in a match that was seen as an “early final.”
Louisa Necib put France ahead in the 64th minute as Les Bleues controlled the first half and more. But Sasic scored the equalizer — her tournament- leading sixth goal — on a penalty kick after a hand ball, and then converted in the shootout as well to give Germany the edge.
“I think our team has proven its character. Because you have to f lip that switch in the second half, and we did that extremely well,” Neid said. “And then we had Nadine Angerer, who can hold a penalty kick.”
With Germany shooting f irst, Melanie Behringer, Simone Laudehr, Babett Peter and Marozsan all converted kicks for the Germans, and Gaetane Thiney, Camille Abily, Necib and Wendie Renard tied the score for France.
Sasic put the Germans back ahead and Lavogez ran up to the spot and kicked the ball to Angerer’s left. Angerer dived and blocked the ball with her left knee, setting off a German celebration.
FRANCE MIDFIELDER Claire Lavogez bites teammate Jessica Houara’s shirt after missing a point in the penalty shootout against Germany.