France beat Brazil and proceed to the quarterfinals

France reached the quarter-finals of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup after Amandine Henry scored an extra-time winner to beat Brazil 2-1 in the round of 16 on Sunday.

Valerie Gauvin had put the hosts in front after 52 minutes in Le Havre, but Thaisa's equaliser three minutes after the hour mark meant extra time was needed. Henry's winner means France await defending champions U.S.

A drab and dour first half was short of chances and quality, but France thought they had taken the lead when Gauvin headed in off the post. However, not for the first time in this tournament, video assistant referee played the deciding role and ruled the goal out.

The scant moments of class during the opening 45 minutes came courtesy of Marta. Her quick feet and close control helped fashion a couple of shooting opportunities, but the 33-year-old was uncharacteristically inaccurate.

Things improved after the break as France put together a slick move to take the lead. The breakthrough came eight minutes after the restart when Gauvin slid in to get her foot to a low cross from Kadidiatou Diani.

France had struggled to get Eugenie Le Sommer involved in the attack, but Gauvin was proving a lively presence. Brazil responded well to going behind. Marta again showed her quality by lofting a free-kick onto the head of Cristiane. It took a superb save from Sarah Bouhaddi to tip the ball away.

The chance showed Brazil still carried a significant threat, and it was no surprise when they were level in the 64th minute. Debinha was released on the left wing, and her well-timed run sent her clear before her cross forced Wendie Renard into a weak clearance.

Thaisa got the loose ball first and finished superbly on the turn. France should have retaken the lead, but Le Sommer missed a free header on the box when attempting to meet a smart free-kick from Henry. 

Les Bleues were still looking dangerous, thanks largely to the efforts of Diani, who was experiencing plenty of joy on the right flank. Her pace and trickery meant she began to attract a crowd of Brazil shirts whenever she received the ball.

As well as Diani played, Brazil looked to have grabbed the winner when Tamires slotted in three minutes from time. It was VAR time again, though, and the review system cancelled the goal.

France did most of the running during the first half of extra time but couldn't connect with many of the best deliveries into the box. When the chance came, Diani headed straight at Brazil goalkeeper Barbara from close range.

At the other end, Debinha thought she'd won it when she broke clear and poked the ball under Bouhaddi. Fortunately for France, Griedge Mbock Bathy slid in to clear from in front of an open goal. Les Bleues made the reprieve count when they flicked in the winner two minutes after the restart.

The classy midfielder had stood out for a France side becoming adept at finding ways to win even when not quite clicking in attack. Meanwhile, Brazil's artistry deserted them during an extra time when several players appeared to tire.


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