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France through, holders Germany out

France booked their place in the semi-finals of the Women's World Cup on Saturday with a penalty shoot-out victory over a battling England team after the match ended 1-1 in Leverkusen.

• Australia through, Sweden beat USA

Favourites France dominated for long periods of the quarter-final but it was England that took the lead against the run of play through Jill Scott in the 59th minute.

England, who had used all their substitutes when Kelly Smith picked up an injury and had to limp through the remainder of the match, were three minutes away from a place in the last four when Elise Bussaglia scored for France to force extra-time.

Despite England effectively playing with ten players the teams remained tied at 1-1 after 30 minutes of extra-time and the match went to penalties.

England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley gave her side the perfect start in the shout-out when she saved Camile Abily's opening penalty but Claire Rafferty and Fay White both missed to send the French through with a 4-3 victory.

In Saturday's late kick-off, Japan recorded a famous 1-0 victory over reigning champions Germany to reach the semi-finals of the Women's World Cup for the first time.

With the game tied at 0-0 after 90 minutes, Japan substitute Karina Maruyama scored in the first-half of extra-time to hand Germany their first defeat in 16 matches.

Germany suffered a major blow within the opening minutes of the game as midfield star Kim Kulig was forced off with a knee injury, but Japan struggled to get out of their own half in the early stages.

The hosts dominated play in normal time but couldn't make the breakthrough. In extra-time Japan midfielder Homare Sawa spotted the run of Maruyama, who slotted the ball past German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer to silence the home crowd.

Japan will face the winner of Sunday's quarter-final between Sweden and Australia.

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