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England, Germany eliminated as France, Japan advance to semis in WWC

England France women 1 (Getty Images)


It seems all England national teams have something common: penalty kicks are their kryptonite.

England's women's national team was bounced out of the World Cup after losing 4-3 on penalty kicks to France after a 1-1 draw in a quarterfinal match on Saturday. England had the lead entering the fourth round of penalty kicks, but saw its last two shots from Claire Rafferty and Faye White go painfully wide and high, respectively.

England initially took the lead in the 59th minute with a goal from Jill Scott. France responded, however, two minutes before the death on a goal from Elise Bussaglia. That, and a scoreless 30 minutes of overtime, set the stage for penalty kicks, where Eugenie Le Sommer hit the eventual game-winning spot kick.

France will play the winner of Sunday's United States-Brazil match in the semifinals.

The other team to advance to the semis was Japan, which upset Germany, 1-0, in overtime on Saturday. Germany was held scoreless through 90 minutes, and Japan's Karina Maruyama eliminated the tournament hosts with a goal in the 108th minute.

Japan will play either Sweden or Australia in the semifinals.


What do you think of England losing to France? What do the Three Lions need to do to cure their penalty kick disease? Surprised Japan beat Germany?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Oh, man. You are right. Not sure how I got that confused, and I should have known that an 18-year-old rookie probably would not have had the poise to have nipped that shot in at such a difficult angle. Could Jozy or Aguedelo have chipped that ball in? Such a magnificent beautiful shot…

    And two other things about the match: The Germans are so big and powerful and were body-checking so hard during the first half. The little Japanese were really getting punished but did not fold under the physical pressure. The ref overall did a good job, but I think she maybe should have cautioned on a couple of those hits. It was nice to see the Japanese come out in the second half and fight back with a couple of hard tackle paybacks. I think that sent a message to the Germans.

    And the second point was the German strategy of diving in the second half with their fans screaming for yellow cards. You could see the ref was feeling fan pressure. I was not keeping exact track, but the German Fraus dived at least four times in the second half, getting a yellow card on one of them and free kicks on the others before the ref finally realized the Germans were diving. The ref only made one more bad call after that on a dive (the yellow card) in overtime play. Of course, I could be wrong 😉

  2. My Anglo-centric pet peeve alert

    Why is England always the focus of the story, ie “England win” or “England lose”. Why not, “France win”? I understand the English media always making England THE story in any match featuring them, but I don’t understand the US media always doing so.

    That goes double if this was posted after Germany-Japan, which was by far the bigger story. (I’ll give the benefiit of the doubt and assume that the Germany-Japan match finished after this was posted, and was then added.)

  3. Enjoyed both matches immensely. The women might not be able to compete with the men’s game in terms of quality, but they’re so much tougher, it’s a breath of fresh air.

  4. I know next to nothing about women’s soccer, but I’ve enjoyed this World Cup too. Probably a bit risky to draw conclusions based on today’s results, but I couldn’t help noticing in both games, the smaller more technically-gifted team were able to defeat a larger, more powerful opponent who tended to pursue a more direct route to goal.

    Maybe in years past, the USA, Germany and Scandinavians could dominate due to their overwhelming size and athleticism. But the rest of the world is catching up, and they are demonstrating how to win by controlling the ball through superior skill. Just as Spain has shown in the men’s game.

    Or maybe not. Let’s see what happens in USA/Brazil tomorrow. Anyway, just throwing out a theory…. your mileage may vary….

  5. Japan’s defense was awesome this game, and their midfield players are very skilled at keeping possession, but they had trouble translating that into shots on goal. I don’t recall Angerer having to make any difficult saves. The one that Japan scored on should have been a routine save – the keeper was out of position. The U.S. beat them twice in the run-up to the WC. If we make it past Brazil (a big if), I would fancy the U.S. chances in the semifinal.

  6. Welcome to parity! I’m not sure the U.S. would do well against Japan, either. They handled Germany’s size with ease, and passed in ways I’m not sure our team can handle. Still, Go U.S.A.!

  7. I used to be really down on the women’s game, but I’ve been glued to this tournament. The WPS is not a good example of what the women’s game can be. These teams are just as entertaining to watch as the men’s.

  8. 1. Two MAJOR results here. Germany losing at home is big. France has always had under-rated talent on their side.

    2. What this WC has shown is very much a changing of the guard. Norway didn’t make elims. Canada has been tough in the past and they’re eliminated. Germany–previous WC winner and host–eliminated. US loses a first round game for the first time ever and could easily be bounced by Brasil. It’s good for the women’s game to see broader talent–more countries who are legitimate contenders rather than the same old 3-4 nations.

    3. Those who say “this is good news for the USA” are being extreme naive. I’m a big USA fan but based on quality of play to-date I think Brasil wins the quarterfinal match. The USA women have not been one of the 4 most impressive teams in the WC so far, in fact you might say they haven’t even been one of the 6 most impressive teams. They aren’t playing well, some critical players aren’t in-form (except for Solo) and they’ve got some weakspots that they haven’t developed answers for.

  9. The Japan v Germany game was fun to watch. I always like to cheer for the underdog so I was glad when Japan won.

  10. major agreeance….Japan was fun to watch. totally confident on the ball. The US ladies could learn from them.

  11. JPN – GER was a pretty incredible match; the Japanese ladies did exactly what they needed to do while Germany never quite got in a groove, and they played beautifully for long stretches. The outcome was true to the run of play. I only saw a bit of the FRA – ENG game but it seemed like the better team got the result. Am i correct that If the Aussies win that would make for THREE newbies in the quarters, if so that’s who I will root for tomorrow. That is growth in a sport. I think Brasil USA will be a pretty tense affair actually, both sides will not want to slip up. If it comes down to Abby vs. Martha the smart money goes with Brasil, but my heart is with the USA!

  12. Great news for the US, this is a wonderful opportunity to win this Cup and be the best team in the world once again, only Brazil stands in the way.


  13. The ref for the Germany-Japan game was unbelievably one-sided. Virtually all the calls went against the Japanese. I am so happy they won the game.

  14. I was very happy that Japan was rewarded for playing such an open, creative game with a win. As for the other game, France was the better team and deserved their win as well. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s games!

  15. Maruyama, the goal scorer is a 28 yr old. The 18 yr old was Iwabuchi, but more to your point…

    Japan was playing some beautiful soccer. The first half especially was a masterpiece. Passing was precise, beautiful, and perfectly weighted. They controlled that game from the beginning and deserved to win.

    The same with the French game. France played a very attractive soccer. Nice attacking style, and the better teams on the field today won.

    Necibe is as beautiful as she is deadly on the ball, Iosvanvan, but I personally thought Thiney was shockingly beautiful. Finally, I almost dropped food out of my mouth when Goessling for Germany came on, WOW!

  16. Well, Byron, I will say that I thought the Germany-Japan match was one of the greatest I have ever seen. The lone goal in the 108th minute by little 18-year-old Karina Maruyama, fed with a wonderful pass by Japanese great 32-year-old Homare Sawa (who a few minutes before had to be stretchered off the field after being kicked hard in her private part), ranks with Grosso’s goal in the 118th minute when Italy knocked Germany out of the semi-finals of WC2006, also in Germany. Total stunned silence from the German fans. One of the camera angles shows Maruyama’s face as she is rushing to try to beat the German defender to the ball, the concentration and sheer desire to score showing on that young face is incredible.

  17. Careful what you wish for…Sweden and France are still around. This WWC is less predictable than ever before.

  18. Just one comment?!
    C’mon Ives bloggers, me and Iosvaran can’t be the only ones that watched at least
    one of these games!

    These women are awesome!


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