PARIS, France, Jun 20 – Ajara Nchout’s brilliant goal at the death gave Cameroon a dramatic 2-1 win over New Zealand on Thursday and took the Indomitable Lionesses through to the women’s World Cup knockout stage.
Just 10 seconds of the allotted five minutes of added time remained in Montpellier when Nchout curled a shot into the net at the end of a slaloming run to give her side the victory.
Nchout, who plays club football in Norway, had earlier given Cameroon the lead in the 57th minute, controlling with her shoulder before slotting home.
However, when Aurelle Awona sliced a Katie Bowen cross into her own net with 10 minutes left, it looked as though both teams were heading out.
Instead, the last-gasp goal means Cameroon are certain to go through as one of the best third-placed sides, while New Zealand return home without a point.
Cameroon will find out later on Thursday if their last-16 opponents will be England or hosts France, depending on the outcome of the Group F match between Thailand and Chile in Rennes.
Meanwhile, substitute Lineth Beerensteyn scored the winner as the Netherlands beat Canada 2-1 to make it three wins out of three at the tournament so far and advance to the last 16 as Group E winners.
Beerensteyn turned in a Desiree van Lunteren cross in the 75th minute in Reims and ensure that the Dutch, the reigning European champions, will face Japan in the last 16.
Canada thought they had won a penalty inside two minutes in Reims only for French referee Stephanie Frappart to overturn her decision following a VAR review.
After that, Vivianne Miedema hit the post on the turn at the other end, but the Netherlands took the lead early in the second half when Anouk Dekker headed in from a free-kick.
Canada drew level soon after as Christine Sinclair converted at the back post from an inviting low cross by Ashley Lawrence.
It was the veteran Sinclair’s 182nd goal for her country, leaving her just two shy of Abby Wambach’s international record with the United States.
However, defeat for Canada means they will go to Paris in the last 16 to face the runners-up in Group F, either Sweden or the USA who clash later in Le Havre.
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