France entered the knockout phase as the only team to win all three group matches, but the favored Bleues were stunned by Denmark in Monday's
quarterfinals. Despite a 31-4 edge in shots, the Bleues fell to the Danes in a shootout before a sellout crowd of 7,448 in Linkoping. Norway cruised to a 3-1 win over Spain in the other quarterfinal
at the Kalmar Arena. VIDEO: France-Iceland
France, the only European team to reach the semifinals of both the 2011 Women's
World Cup and 2012 London Olympics, fell, 4-2, in a shootout after it played to a 1-1 tie with Denmark.
The Danes took the lead on Johanna
's first-half goal and led with less than 20 minutes left in regulation when former WPS star Camille Abily
was taken down in the area. Louisa Necib
converted from the penalty spot to tie the score but was one of two French players to miss in the shootout when Stina Petersen
, who had stopped two penalties in Denmark's 0-0 tie with Germany, saved her attempt. Theresa Nielsen
then missed for
Denmark, but Sabrina Delannoy
hit the woodwork for France.
Abily said the Bleues paid the price for their slow start.
"It's true that
for the first 20 or 30 minutes we didn't play well and they scored," said Abily, who hit the crossbar in overtime with a free kick. "Once they had scored, we woke up, but it was a bit late. That's
what it's like when you play at the highest level: if you don't perform straight away, it costs you."
-- Solveig Gulbrandsen
, who had come out of
international retirement, gave Norway the lead in the 24th minute, and it pulled away on Irene Paredes'
own goal and Ada
's goal. Jennifer Hermoso
scored Spain's lone goal in stoppage time.