France has finally managed to end their decade-long “curse” of quarter-final defeats after beating their opponents, the Netherland, in extra time.
The team had exited their last five international events, Euro 2013, the World Cup in 2015, the Olympics in 2016, Euro 2017 and the World Cup in 2019 at the quarter-final stage, never once making it to the semis; but the curse is finally over!
Right-back Eve Perisset converted a penalty in the 102nd minute, right after Dominique Janssen’s foul on Kadidiatou Diani, which was awarded by video review, to end the title defence of the Dutch.
The French team has made it into the semi-finals in one other major international event, the world cup of 2011.
An exciting game through and through, it went to extra time only thanks to careless French finishing and the brilliance of Netherlands goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar, who was filling in for Sari van Veenendaal following her shoulder injury against the Sweden team in the group stage.
Her best save came in the fourth minute of stoppage time when she flew to her left to throw aside a header from Wendie Renard. A minute prior, Van Domselaar defied Delphine Cascarino at the near post, having also saved well from the winger early in the first half.
France also struck the post through Cascarino, while Dutch defender Stefanie van der Gragt blocked shots on the goal-line twice in the first half.
The best of the many chances created by France fell to Grace Geyoro, who somehow headed wide from three meters out in the 87th minute, only to be substituted moments later.
France dominated completely in the first half, but the Netherlands surely recovered in the second half enough to give the Les Blues a fair fight; however, they could not get their star striker Vivianne Miedema into the game enough.