Germany pip France in Women's World Cup
Top-ranked Germany kept their bid for a record third title on track on Friday when they won a dramatic penalty shoot-out 5-4 to break French hearts and advance to the semi-finals at the Women's World Cup.
The thrilling quarter-final game at Montreal's Olympic Stadium went to a nail-biting penalty shoot-out after the two teams were locked 1-1 after 30 minutes of extra time.
Louisa Necib, dubbed the "Female Zidane" of the French women's game, could only rue a missed chance to score after just 49 seconds, before she finally nailed the opener on 64 minutes.
Celia Sasic levelled for Germany with a penalty six minutes from time, and in a tense half hour of extra-time substitute Gaetane Thiney wasted a late chance to put France into the last four for the second straight time.
Germany captain Nadine Angerer was the heroine of the night as the goalkeeper saved 20-year-old substitute Claire Lavogez's final penalty in the shoot-out.
"We're extremely elated, full of adrenaline right now," said the 36-year-old former world player of the year, who has won titles with Germany in 2003 and 2007.
"It was hard work. We had to fight really hard and we were rewarded."
Germany coach Silvia Neid admitted it was a tough game.
"We had to run after it and France were really ahead of us in the first half. But in the second half we really fought hard."
"Our team has proven their character, they managed to flick that switch in the second half and then to get a penalty shoot-out where you have the goalie who can save those penalties."