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FIFAWWC: Australia edge France in epic shootout to reach first-ever semi-finals

AUSTRALIA have advanced to the FIFA Women’s World Cup semi-finals for the first time in their history after beating France 7-6 in a dramatic penalty shoot-out at Brisbane Stadium today.

After full-time and extra-time ended 0-0, the co-hosts triumphed in an epic shoot-out which was full of twists and turns.

There were 10 kicks for each side, with France missing four and Australia missing three.

The Matildas also failed to take advantage of French misses twice, and goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold was penalised for being off her line before Cortnee Vine finally converted the winning spot-kick for Australia, after Vicki Becho had struck the post for France.

Arnold made a total of four saves in the shoot-out — including twice from Kenza Dali, having moved off the line for the first stop, leading to a retake.

Arnold herself had the opportunity to score the winning penalty as the fifth taker for Australia, after saving from Eve Perisset, but hit the post.

The co-hosts, whose only defeat in the tournament has been to Nigeria’s Super Falcons, Australia have reached the quarter-final stage in four of their last five Women’s World Cup tournaments, losing three of the ties before today’s progress to their first-ever semi-finals.

On their part, France have now lost in the quarter-finals in each of the last three Women’s World Cups.

Australia will play England or Colombia at Stadium Australia in Sydney in the semi-finals on Wednesday.

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