Eugenie Le Sommer netted a brace to lead France to a 4-0 victory over debutants Morocco in their last-16 match at the Women’s World Cup on Tuesday. It is the third consecutive time that France have made the quarter-finals.
Also qualifying for the last-eight stage were Colombia, who edged out Jamaica with a second-half goal by Catalina Usme. It will be the South American side’s maiden Women’s World Cup quarter-final.
Kadidiatou Diani’s fourth goal of the tournament, a header in the 15th minute, sparked an eight-minute three-goal Les Bleues blitz, with Kenza Dali and Le Sommer also scoring at Hindmarsh Stadium, ending the North African side’s fairytale run.
“I think the French team showed just how serious we can be,” said coach Herve Renard. “The result speaks for itself. It’s the most important that we were able to score four times, four blinders.”
France next face hosts Australia in the quarter-finals on Saturday in Brisbane.
Morocco became the lowest-ranked team (72) to play in the last 16, bouncing back from a 0-6 rout by Germany to beat South Korea and Colombia. But they were no match
for fifth-ranked France on Tuesday.
In Melbourne, the Colombian captain’s 51st-minute strike sent their fans into delirium at a packed Melbourne Rectangular Stadium and ensured they will battle England for a place in the last four.
What had been a testy and physical clash up to half-time exploded into life after Usme’s breakthrough, with both teams attacking furiously.
Jamaica’s ‘Reggae Girlz’ had chances to level the match but bowed out swinging after reaching the knockout phase for the first time in their second World Cup.
Having not conceded a goal all tournament, Jamaica stifled the Colombians early, often leaving their players splayed on the turf with heavy tackles.
Colombia wunderkind Linda Caicedo was kept quiet on the left flank, and the South Americans’ first decent scoring chance had to wait until a corner in the 38th minute.
It was Colombia’s new girl Ana Maria Guzman breaking the game open after the break, the 18-year-old full-back finding Usme in space on the right with a long cross.
Usme took the ball past Jamaica defender Deneisha Blackwood and fired a low, left-foot strike inside the far post.
With inputs from Reuters