England through to Women's World Cup last eight after beating Nigeria on pens

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England through to Women
England through to Women's World Cup last eight after beating Nigeria on pens

England have made it through to the quarter finals of the Women's World Cup.

The European Champions triumphed on penalties after a 0-0 draw with Nigeria, with Chloe Kelly smashing home the decisive penalty for a 4-2 win in the shootout. England missed their first penalty when Georgia Stanway fired wide, but Beth England and Rachel Daly slotted home.

Rasheedat Ajibade gave the Super Falcons hope when she beat Mary Earps. But Alex Greenwood and Kelly kept their nerve to send England back to the quarter finals. The Lionesses were rocked by Nigeria's skill and their hopes of a quarter-final dipped further when Lauren James was sent off in the 87th minute.

Sarina Wiegman's side were forced to extra time by the Super Falcons after a superb display from Randy Waldrum's side and a below-par performance from the Lionesses. The Nigerians had outplayed the European Champions for large parts of the 120 minutes prior to the shootout, but were denied by the woodwork and Mary Earps.

England were poor for large periods and once James saw red they were clinging on their World Cup dream. But they managed to survive an extra-time onslaught and once again came good in the shootout. The Lionesses will now face either Jamaica or Colombia in the last eight on Saturday.

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Lauren James, the superstar of the tournament so far who had been making headlines across the country put England on the back foot even further in the 87th minute after she got sent off following a VAR review of her initial yellow card.

After the whistle blew for a foul, James stood up, putting her studs into Alozie's back. Referee Melissa Borjas initially gave James a yellow card, but the VAR recommended she go over the to pitchside screen to watch the incident again. It was then upgraded to a red card.

Former Lionesses player Anita Asante said on BBC Radio 5 Live. "I'm really disappointed. One act has kind of tarnished all the good work that Lauren James has done up until this point.

"She is a superstar and hopefully she will grow from this experience. Her team now have lost a player who has the ability to turn a game on its head."

Lauren James could now miss the rest of the tournament if her one game ban is upgraded to a three-match ban.

Laura Hartley

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