France knock out holders Netherlands with extra-time penalty

(Reuters) – France defender Eve Perisset scored a penalty in extra time to earn a 1-0 win over holders the Netherlands on Saturday and a place in the semi-finals of the Women’s European Championship for the first time where they face Germany.

France, whose last three appearances at the Euros ended in the quarter-finals, desperately searched for an opening as they kept surrounding the Dutch goal but it took Perisset’s spot kick in the 102nd minute to finally break the deadlock.Corinne Diacre’s sidewere awarded the penalty after Kadidiatou Diani was brought down by defender Dominique Janssen and Perisset fired her effort into the corner of the net past the diving Daphne van Domselaar,who had been magnificent.

“All the players performed their roles and we saw how well that worked,” Diacre said. “We would like to have scored earlier but we were up against an incredible Dutch goalkeeper.”France became the fourth nation to have reached the semi-finals of the Women’s Euros, World Cup and Olympics after Germany, Norway and Sweden.

They will play eight-time European champions Germany on Wednesdayafterhosts England meet Sweden in the first semi-final on Tuesday.

France had scored all of their eight group-stage goals before halftime but despite putting the Dutch under relentless pressure were unable to score within 90 minutes. The Dutch had one shot on target throughout the game, even with their all-time top scorer Vivianne Miedema returning to the lineup after she missed two group stage games due to COVID-19.