Matildas learn potential quarter-final opponents after 'shocking' drama at World Cup

Morocco have sent the football world into meltdown after sending Germany packing from the Women's World Cup.

Morocco and Germany players at the Women's World Cup.

The Matildas have learned who they could potentially face in the quarter-finals at the Women's World Cup after Morocco advanced at the expense of heavyweights Germany in shock scenes on Thursday night. Playing in their first Women's World Cup ever, Morocco scored a stunning 1-0 win over Colombia in Perth that saw World No.2 Germany sent packing.

A first-half strike from Anissa Lahmari and some heroic goalkeeping by Khadija Er-Rmich saw Morocco - the first Arab country to play at a Women's World Cup - secure the win in front of 17,342 mostly-Colombian fans. After the game, World No.72 Morocco faced a nervous few minutes waiting for the final result of the Germany-South Korea game, which was locked at 1-1 deep into added time.

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A win for Germany would have demoted Morocco to third place in Group H (only the top two advance), but South Korea held on. It sparked wild celebrations among the Moroccan players, who had assembled in a circle in the middle of the pitch.

Germany's draw meant they finished third and missed out on a spot in the knockout stages for the first time ever. Morocco instead advanced at the expense of the two-time champions, with Colombia still finishing top of the group despite the loss.

"When we had won the match, the most stressful thing was the other match," Morocco coach Reynald Pedros said afterwards. "We waited, and then the good news arrived. It was incredible."

Lahmari added: "At the end of our game, we had the phone and we were praying, waiting for the result to come out of the Germany and Korea game. It was a draw and afterwards it was a complete explosion of joy."

Morocco players celebrating at the Women's World Cup.
Morocco players celebrate after advancing to the knockout stage at the Women's World Cup. (Photo by Alex Grimm - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images) (FIFA via Getty Images)

Morocco will now take on Group F winners France in the round of 16 in Adelaide on Tuesday, with the winner to face the victor of the Matildas-Denmark clash on Monday night. It marks a remarkable turnaround for Morocco, who were thrashed 6-0 by Germany in their opening match.

"After the first match of the tournament, I think 95 per cent or 98 per cent of people thought it was over, apart from us," Pedros said. "We thought we could do something, because football is magic.

"We know that emotions and hard work can lead to good things. If we are at the next stage, it's because we deserve it, for all the hard work we put in."

Germany players look on in shock after being eliminated from the Women's World Cup.
Germany players look on after their elimination from the Women's World Cup. (Photo by James Whitehead/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Germany fail to advance for first time in Women's World Cup

Germany's failure to advance to the round of 16 will go down as one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history. The 2003 and 2007 champions only have themselves to blame, squandering 16 minutes of second-half added time in Brisbane.

"I am very disappointed. I missed the first game. I played the second and we lost. I played the third and we are out," said midfielder Lena Oberdorf. "I love those stages because they are the biggest you have in football. I would have loved to have more games to show how I can play ... so it is really disappointing for me."

World No.17 South Korea had a dream start to the match when Cho Sohyun was left unmarked and slotted home a through ball from defender Lee Youngju. Alexandra Popp scored her 66th international goal and fourth at this World Cup on 42 minutes with a textbook header from a pinpoint cross.

But it was the last goal Germany would score at the 2023 World Cup as a winner went begging and South Korea held on. Fans and commentators around the world were left in disbelief over the wild scenes.

Round of 16 match-ups at Women's World Cup

with AAP

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