Women's U20 World Cup: England beat France to bronze in penalty shootout
England beat hosts France in a penalty shootout to win bronze for the first time at the Women’s Under-20 World Cup.
Goalkeeper Sandy McIver made two saves to secure a 4-2 victory in the shootout after England’s Alessia Russo had seen her attempt kept out.
Georgia Stanway had put England ahead early in the second half before France’s Emelyne Laurent equalised from the spot to make it 1-1.
Japan beat Spain 3-1 in the final later on Friday evening in Vannes.
England forward Russo came close to heading a late winner with just minutes to go but was denied by goalkeeper Justine Lerond – who then thwarted her again in the shootout.
But McIver saved Amelie Delabre and Selma Bacha’s efforts before Georgia Allen scored the winning penalty as England confirmed their best ever finish in the tournament.
Stanway’s sixth goal took her to the top of the goalscoring charts and she finishes the tournament level with Spain captain Patricia Guijarro.
France’s Laurent – who converted her fourth goal of the tournament after substitute Delabre was brought down by Megan Finnigan – was a threat throughout, volleying wide in the first half and hitting the post shortly before scoring the penalty.
Team-mate Annahita Zamanian was also denied by McIver, while Stanway came close with two long-range efforts and almost set up Lauren Hemp in the first half.
England, who lost 2-0 to Japan in the semi-finals on Monday, had failed to progress beyond the group stages in their past two tournaments.