England’s Chloe Kelly said plenty of penalty practice had paid off after scoring the winning spot-kick to send the Lionesses into the World Cup quarter-finals after a nervy 0-0 draw against Nigeria.
The European champions had to survive extra time a player down after Lauren James was sent off towards the end of 90 minutes for violent conduct.
Georgia Stanway then fired England’s first penalty wide, but Bethany England, Rachel Daly, Alex Greenwood and Kelly found the net to prevail 4-2 in the shootout and prevent a huge upset in Brisbane.
“It’s amazing, anything that’s thrown at us we show what we’re capable of,” said the Manchester City forward, who scored the winning goal in last year’s European Championship final.
“We’ve been practising a lot and it’s working.”
Sarina Wiegman’s side will face Colombia or Jamaica in the last eight and are among the favourites to win the Women’s World Cup for the first time.
But they were fortunate not to follow the likes of Germany and the United States from crashing out early as Nigeria enjoyed the better of the game and hit the crossbar through Ashleigh Plumptre in the first half.
“This team is special,” added Kelly. “We keep pushing forward. There is more to come from this special team.”
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