Le Sommer nets twice in France's 4-0 last-16 win over Morocco


How 'outstanding' France progressed to the World Cup quarterfinals

Julien Laurens recaps France's 4-0 win over Morocco in the round-of-16 of the Women's World Cup.

Eugenie Le Sommer netted a brace to lead France to a 4-0 victory over debutants Morocco in their round of 16 match at the Women's World Cup, and into the quarterfinals for the third consecutive time.

Kadidiatou Diani's fourth goal of the tournament, a header in the 15th minute, sparked an eight-minute three-goal Les Bleues blitz, with Kenza Dali and Le Sommer also scoring at Hindmarsh Stadium, ending Morocco's fairytale run.

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France next face hosts Australia in the quarterfinals on Saturday in Brisbane.

Morocco became the lowest-ranked team (72) to play in the round of 16, bouncing back from a 6-0 rout by Germany to beat South Korea and Colombia. But they were no match for fifth-ranked France who went unbeaten in the group stage, capped by a dramatic 6-3 win over Panama.

Le Sommer increased her all-time leading goalscoring record for France to 90, while the game marked the first time Les Bleus had scored four goals in a World Cup knockout game.

Diani, who netted a hat trick against Panama, was unmarked in the box for an easy header from Sakina Karchaoui's cross that kicked off the scoring and had Morocco goalkeeper Khadija Er-Rmichi smacking her fists on the pitch in frustration.

There was more frustration to come. Dali connected five minutes later when she struck Diani's cross, her long shot ricocheting off the inside of the far post and in.

Le Sommer was able to get a boot on the ball for her first goal in the 23rd minute after Diani pressured a Morocco defender.

The 34-year-old Lyon forward netted her second in what had been an otherwise quiet second half for France, heading in a long cross from Vicki Becho from the far post in the 70th minute.

This World Cup marked the first time three African nations made the round of 16 in Morocco, South Africa and Nigeria. Morocco were hoping to become the first African nation to win a knockout game.

Nouhaila Benzina had also made history as the first player to wear a hijab in the Women's World Cup.

"I'm not disappointed because we got to the round of 16 and this is our first World Cup, so we knew the further we got the harder it would be," Morocco coach Reynald Pedros said postmatch.

"What is important is that we got to the round of 16 and that is exceptional for us. It was unthinkable to say that Morocco would get to the round of 16 and I sincerely think that reaching this stage, for the first time, is like the men's team getting to the semifinal.

"We were just putting together a women's team three years ago in Morocco, but we are going home with our heads held high because we got to the round of 16. I am going to congratulate the players and thank them for what they have given us."