England's women will face hosts Canada, managed by Geordie John Herdman, in the Women's World Cup quarter-finals - if they beat Norway in Ottawa tonight.
Canada edged past debutants Switzerland in Vancouver last night, in front of 53,855, the largest crowd to watch any Canadian national team. A tight match came to life when Josée Bélanger scored shortly after 52 minutes. The vast majority of the crowd then became increasingly nervous as both sides missed chances. That there were no further goals was not, perhaps, much of a surprise. In four matches Canada have scored three goals and conceded one.
"The pressure has been immense and I am proud of the girls, proud of what they put in. It feels like we have won the final, we have not but it is another step forward, with England on the way," said Herdman.
There will be a mouth-watering quarter-final between Germany and France in Montreal on Friday after both teams cruised to victory in the round of 16 over the weekend. After Germany dismissed Sweden 4-1 in Ottawa on Saturday the French swatted aside South Korea 3-0 in Montreal. The successful pair are ranked first and third in the world respectively.
"It's an enormous challenge, but the pressure isn't on France,” said French coach Philippe Bergeroo, a former men’s international goalkeeper. We have no injuries and can prepare calmly for this clash."
With Australia having shocked Brazil with a 1-0 win in Moncton earlier on Sunday there was no danger of the French being complacent. They scored twice in the opening eight minutes through Marie Laure Delie and Elodie Thomis, then Delie killed off any chance of a Korean revival with a second at the start of the second period. Chelsea’s Ji So-Yun, the reigning PFA Player of the Year, was absent from the South Korean side, presumed injured.
Australia upset Brazil with a late goal from Kyah Simon having absorbed considerable pressure with 37-year-old Formiga denied by the post and a flying save from Lydia Williams. Australian coach Alen Stajcic described the win as “exhilarating”, but Brazilian counterpart Vadao said: "We controlled the game, the statistics show that, the chances showed that but we lost the game and we are out".
China also reached the last eight, with a 1-0 win over Cameroon in Edmonton on Saturday. The other quarter-finals, also tonight, feature United States against Colombia and holders Japan against Netherlands.Reuse content