England's players celebrate their victory after a penalty shoot-out during the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women's World Cup round of 16 football match between England and Nigeria at Brisbane Stadium in Brisbane on August 7, 2023.


Summary

  • Chloe Kelly scored the winning penalty in Brisbane as European champions England beat Nigeria 4-2 in the shoot-out after a tense last-16 tie finished 0-0 at the end of extra time.

Brisbane. England survived the sending-off of Lauren James to scrape past Nigeria in a dramatic penalty shoot-out on Monday and reach the Women's World Cup quarter-finals. 

Chloe Kelly scored the winning penalty in Brisbane as European champions England beat Nigeria 4-2 in the shoot-out after a tense last-16 tie finished 0-0 at the end of extra time.

England survived a major scare before a crowd of 49,461, after coming through the whole of extra time a player short following the 87th-minute sending-off of James for a stamp on Nigeria's Michelle Alozie.

Georgia Stanway put the first penalty of the shoot-out wide for England, but Desire Oparanozie and Alozie followed suit, both missing the target with Nigeria's first two attempts.

Beth England, Rachel Daly and Alex Greenwood all netted for England before Kelly converted the decisive kick.

Sarina Wiegman's team, now the favourites to win a tournament which has already seen holders the United States, Germany and Olympic champions Canada go home, will play either Colombia or Jamaica in the quarter-finals in Sydney on Saturday.

"It was a very, very hard game, then we had a red card but we made it through extra time and then won on penalties. How we did that and how the team just kept going, I'm so proud of them," said Wiegman, who welcomed key midfielder Keira Walsh back into her side after injury.

"We keep pushing forward, there's more to come from this special team," added winning penalty-taker Kelly.

The defeat was cruel on Nigeria, the world's 40th-ranked team, who followed their impressive performances in the group stage by pushing England all the way.

Their England-born defender Ashleigh Plumptre crashed a shot off the woodwork in the first half, and Uchenna Kanu also hit the frame of the goal.

However, this was the third game out of four at this World Cup in which Nigeria failed to score.

"We had every opportunity to get the result and unfortunately we didn't get it done," said their American coach, Randy Waldrum.

"I think we could have (won it in 90 minutes). We had the best chances, we hit the crossbar twice in regulation play. We were a bit unlucky not to get something out of it.

"But credit to England, they are a great side."

England will discover the identity of their quarter-final opponents on Tuesday, when Colombia face surprise package Jamaica in Melbourne.