Germany beat France in a penalty shootout to move into the semi-finals of the Women's World Cup wher they will take on USA.

The two-time winners triumphed 5-4 in the shootout after Claire Levogez, chosen as the fifth kicker for France, saw her low shot saved by goal-keeper Nadine Angerer.

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Louisa Necib had put France ahead in the 64th minute but Germany equalised in the 84th when Celia Sasic converted a penalty after Amel Majri handled inside the box.

In the late quarter-final, the US shrugged off the suspension of two key players to beat China 1-0.

The Americans wasted a host of chances against a young, defensively minded Chinese side and had to wait until the 51st minute to take the lead through a fine header by captain Carli Lloyd.

The United States started without suspended first-choice midfielders Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe but had little trouble maintaining their record of reaching the semi-final of every World Cup.

The United States have won the World Cup twice, most recently in 1999 when they beat China on penalty kicks. They lost in the 2011 final to Japan.

The clash between the top-ranked Germans and a French team placed third in the world was expected to be a memorable encounter and it more than lived up to the billing.


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France dominated large sections of play in the first half, with some flowing attacking football that produced several good openings.

They looked to be on their way into the last four but with six minutes of normal time remaining, Leonie Majer drove a cross into the box which struck Majri, who had stretched out her arm, and Sasic confidently slotted home her sixth goal of the tournament.

Both teams tired in extra-time and there were few chances created.

The Germans scored all five of their spot-kicks before goal-keeper Angerer got down well to keep out Lavogez's attempt.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies