Japan knocked two-time defending champion and host Germany out of the Women’s World Cup in Wolfsburg on Saturday, advancing to the semifinals with a 1-0 win when substitute Karina Maruyama outran the defense and scored on an angled shot in extra time.
Japan absorbed relentless pressure during the match, gaining its first World Cup semifinal and handing Germany its first loss in the tournament in a dozen years.
Standout midfielder Homare Sawa spotted Maruyama’s deep run in the 108th minute, served her perfectly and Maruyama slipped it past goalie Nadine Angerer to silence the sellout crowd of 26,067 and an expectant nation.
Germany threw everything forward in the final dozen minutes, but it didn’t matter. As throughout the match, the bounces didn’t go the hosts’ way.
France 2, England 1
France beat England 4-3 on penalties in the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals when England captain Faye White missed the decisive kick.
White’s effort – after Eugenie Le Sommer tied the score for France – hit the crossbar to send France through to a semifinal against Brazil or the U.S.
The game ended 1-1 after normal time and extra time.
Elise Bussaglia equalized in the 88th minute following Jill Scott’s 59th-minute goal for England before 26,395 fans at Bay Arena.
Camille Abily, who took the first spot kick for France, had her effort saved by Karen Bardsley. But Bussaglia, Gaetane Thiney and Sonia Bompastor all scored. Le Sommer put all the pressure on White after England’s Claire Rafferty drew her shot wide to the right.
Kelly Smith, Karen Carney and Casey Stoney converted England’s penalties.
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