By Alan Duffy
Despite outplaying Germany for long periods of this Women’s World Cup quarter-final clash, France simply couldn’t finish the job, with wastefulness in front of goal culminating in a spot-kick defeat.
Les Bleues started superbly, with playmaker Louisa Necib missing a sitter.
Germany struggled to get into the game and eventually went a goal down, with Necib’s shot deflecting past ‘keeper Nadine Angerer on 64 minutes.
France looked set to make it into the last four when, on 84 minutes, Amel Majri was somewhat harshly adjudged to have handled the ball in the box. Striker Celia Sasic converted the resulting spot-kick to send the game into extra-time.
In extra-time, sub Claire Lavogez produced an appalling dive in the German box and somehow managed to avoid a caution.
However, at the death the French missed a glorious chance to win, with sub Gaetane Thiney somehow missing an open goal from point-blank range.
And then to the penalties, with the Germans unsurprisingly winning (5-4). 21-year-old Lavogez was the unlucky penalty-fluffer, with her weak effort handing the no. 1 ranked side a place in the last four. Justice for that dreadful dive, perhaps?
Germany march on, while the classy French will rue their missed chances.
Highlights: To Follow
Photos: Getty Images