Lo had to fight to the end, but France reached their first semi-final at a European Women’s Championship. Corinne Diacre’s team defeated the reigning European champions Netherlands in a game that was decided in extra time by a penalty goal in the 100th minute and will meet eight-time European champions Germany Champions next Wednesday (9 p.m., Teledeporte) by one place in the Wembley final. England and Sweden, who will play their semi-finals on Tuesday (9 p.m., Teledeporte), will decide on the other finalists.
Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, Griedge Mbock Bathy, Sakina Karchaoui, Ève Périsset, Wendie Renard, Sandie Toletti, Grace Geyoro, Charlotte Bilbault, Delphine Cascarino, Kadidiatou Diani and Melvine Malard
Daphne van Domselaar, Lynn Wilms, Stefanie van der Gragt, Kerstin Casparij, Dominique Janssen, Daniëlle van de Donk, Sherida Spitse, Jackie Groenen, Lineth Beerensteyn, Victoria Pelova and Vivianne Miedema
Gates 1-0 mins 101: Eva Perisset.
yellow cards Stefanie van der Gragt (min. 71), Dominique Janssen (min. 100) and Vivianne Miedema (min. 102)
France slowly had to work on the pass against the solid Dutch side, a wall with strong central defenders. The splendor started the dominant game by taking possession of the ball before their rival stepped down who passed the initiative to his rival. Diacre’s men took charge and had their first clear chances about half an hour into the game. First, Cascarino volleyed a ball rejected from the edge of the field into the post. Minutes later, Netherlands captain Van der Gragt saved a goal on the line after a Malard shot from the edge of the small area.
The Netherlands stayed alive thanks to a superb performance from goalkeeper Van Domseler. At the beginning of the second half, after so much effort without reward, France lowered the intensity by a notch and the Dutch used this to scare the sides. Mark Parsons’ men, more comfortable on the pitch, had an opportunity to take the lead on a shot from their captain, striker Miedema, who didn’t take the ball well in a corner where she’d been left completely alone connected. The fright caused France to come back into the game with force, embedding their rival against his goal again. Between inaccuracies and nervousness, the game went into overtime with both teams fearing a stumble in the final moments. France tried the final attack but again a huge Van Domseler surfaced to avoid goals from Cascarino or Renard and sent the game into overtime.
It didn’t seem possible that France could stop the Dutch goalkeeper from keeping her goal clean, but when the 100th minute was up the heavens opened up for the galas. Diani quickly slithered towards goal and Jansen brought her down from behind in the penalty area without touching the ball. The match referee did not see the clear penalty at first, but displayed the maximum penalty on the VAR screen after the appropriate visit. Perisset converted the shot which Van Domseler grazed against and the French bench exploded with joy. The champions saw the game slip through their fingers and the opportunity to defend the title. Europe is looking for a new queen and France is presenting its candidacy.