England overcomes red card to defeat Nigeria on penalties

England’s Chloe Kelly  celebrates after her penalty seals victory in the shootout against Nigeria in Brisbane on Monday night.

England’s Chloe Kelly celebrates after her penalty seals victory in the shootout against Nigeria in Brisbane on Monday night. Photo: AAP

England is through to the Women’s World Cup quarter-finals on penalties after overcoming the dismissal of star midfielder Lauren James to beat Nigeria.

The Lionesses won 4-2 on penalties with substitute Chloe Kelly sealing the deal after Beth England, Rachel Daly and Alex Greenwood had all scored from the spot.

Nigeria’s Desire Oparanozie and Michelle Alozie missed with their opening two shots to put the Super Falcons behind the eight ball.

James was sensationally sent off in the 87th minute for stomplng on the back of Nigeria defender Alozie while she was on the ground.

James was initially given a yellow card but on review it was changed to a red for her brain explosion.

She will automatically miss England’s quarter-final on Saturday in Sydney against the winner of Tuesday’s round-of-16 clash between Colombia and Jamaica.

The Lionesses composed themselves after James’ exit and defended with guile and courage for the duration of  extra time.

Alozie sprayed a shot on an open goal wide in the 98th minute while Nigeria’s Barcelona striker Asisat Oshoala found goalkeeper Mary Earps in the 117th minute as England held firm.

England has now reached the quarter-finals in all six appearances at the World Cup.

The referee controversially ruled a penalty initially to England in the 31st minute after contact by Nigeria midfielder Rasheedat Ajibade on Daly who tumbled over theatrically in the box.

There was a shirt tug outside the box and some contact inside it, but the referee went to the video monitor for a review and the decision was reversed.

Ajibade caused England early concerns with her ball-winning ability and slick through balls.

Nigeria defender Ashleigh Plumptre struck the underside of the crossbar with a rocket of a shot in the 16th minutes and then forced England goalkeeper Mary Earps to dive full length to her right to save another vicious strike.

England forward Alessia Russo had her side’s best chance in the 23rd minute when her strike was well saved by Super Falcons goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie.

The second stanza was a minute old when striker Uchenna Kanu hit the crossbar from another Ajibade cross.

England’s best chance came with a powerful header by Daly from an Emma Greenwood cross that was magnificently saved low down by Nnadozie.


Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter.
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.