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France reaches quarterfinals with dominating win over Morocco | CBC Sports

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Eugenie Le Sommer scored twice as France advanced to the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals with a 4-0 win on Tuesday that ended Morocco’s historic debut run at the global tournament.

France’s all-time leading scorer, Le Sommer struck once in each half as her country moved into a showdown with co-host Australia in Brisbane on Saturday for a place in the semifinals.

A three-goal burst in nine minutes took the game away from Morocco, with Kadidiatou Diani, Kenza Dali and Le Sommer all scoring to give France a 3-0 lead after 23 minutes at Adelaide’s Hindmarsh Stadium.

Le Sommer headed in a fourth in the 70th to complete the win and end Morocco’s campaign.

The Moroccans became the first Arab nation to advance to the knockout stage.

The Atlas Lions were the first Arab team to register a win in the competition by beating South Korea in the group stage. They followed that by upsetting group winner Colombia to advance to the round of 16 at the expense of No. 2-ranked Germany.

But overcoming France, one of the tournament favorites, was a step too far for Reynald Pedros’ team.

Diani opened the scoring in the 15th minute when left unmarked in front of goal to head in Sakina Karchaoui’s cross from the left.

It was Diani’s fourth goal of the tournament after her hat trick in France’s 6-3 win over Panama in its final Group F match.

Dali scored five minutes later after Diani cut back from the right. Dali struck a first-time shot low into the corner to beat Morocco goalkeeper Khadija Er-Rmichi.

And France was 3-0 up when Diani blocked the attempted clearance of Nesryne El Chad into the path of Le Sommer to convert.

Le Sommer got a second goal when heading in at the far post from Vicki Becho’s looping cross with 20 minutes left in regulation.

France lost a friendly to Australia leading into the tournament. The teams will meet again after the Matildas advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-0 win over Denmark. Star striker Sam Kerr returned from calf injury to make her first appearance at this World Cup as a second-half substitute against the Danes.

 

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