Lauren James, the Chelsea star, was inexplicably sent off before the European champions came through the last 16 by the skin of their teeth.

Lauren James Stupidity So Nearly Costs Lionesses
Lauren James

Despite that deficit, England made it through to the Women’s World Cup quarter-finals on Monday August 7.


They beat Nigeria on penalties after being second-best to the Super Falcons all evening in Brisbane.

A stupid red card from Lauren James made their task even harder, but nerves of steel were shown in the shootout to avoid an embarrassing last-16 exit.


Nigeria settled well in the first half and were incredibly close to breaking the deadlock when Ashleigh Plumptre hit the woodwork with a fierce strike, with her forcing a good stop out of Mary Earps moments later, too.

But England had chances, too, most notably when Alessia Russo forced a great save out of Chiamaka Nnadozie, who needed to deny Rachel Daly from a corner not long after.


The Lionesses thought they had their biggest chance yet to break the deadlock when a penalty was given against Rasheedat Ajibade for a push on Daly, but it was overturned.

It was the African side that always looked the more likely to win it, though, with England regularly riding their luck until a moment of madness from James reduced them to 10.

Read more: Tata Martino Raves About Lionel Messi’s Free-kick Ability

The Chelsea star stupidly stepped on Michelle Alozie and was dismissed in the 87th minute.


Fortunately for them, Nigeria could not capitalise and it was Chloe Kelly who was the hero in the penalty shootout, smashing home her spot-kick to send the Lionesses through.

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