Germany became the first team to secure their place in the last eight of the Women’s World Cup after Lea Schueller’s late strike completed a hard-fought 3-0 win over underdogs Nigeria on Saturday.
The two-time world champions had VAR to thank for their first two goals in a physical encounter in Grenoble before striker Schueller sealed the win eight minutes from time.
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side is yet to concede a goal in their four games at the World Cup so far.
Captain Alexandra Popp gave Germany the lead on 20 minutes, nodding Lina Magull’s in-swinging corner inside the far post.
Magull was involved again as Germany doubled the lead minutes later.
The midfielder was caught on the knee as Nigerian left-back Evelyn Nwabouku attempted to clear a loose ball in the area.
After reviewing the incident on the touchline, the referee awarded Germany a penalty, and striker Sara Daebritz made no mistake from 12 yards.
Three yellow cards were awarded in the second half as the Nigerians were unable to battle their way back into the game.
Schueller put paid to their hopes on 82 minutes, pouncing on a mistake from Halimat Ayinde and smashing the ball into the bottom corner.
Germany will face either Sweden or Canada, who play on Monday, in the quarter-final next weekend.