Colombia advances to Women’s World Cup quarterfinals for the first time after victory over Jamaica; France beats Morocco

Colombia will play England on Saturday.
CNN  — 

Colombia reached the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals for the first time in the country’s history after a nervy 1-0 victory over Jamaica in Melbourne on Tuesday, while France confidently knocked out Morocco to reach the last eight.

Catalina Usme brilliantly scored the winner for Colombia and, in the process, became the first player at this tournament to break Jamaica’s stubborn defense.

The Colombians’ reward is a last eight tie against reigning European champion and world No.4 England in Sydney on Saturday, a match the South American team has the talent to win despite there being 21 places between the two sides in the world rankings.

France’s 4-0 victory over Morocco, a team which had reached the last 16 in its first foray in the competition, earns Les Bleues a last eight tie against co-host Australia on Saturday.

Colombia, Morocco and Jamaica’s unlikely journeys to the knockout stages will be a major reason why this tournament will be regarded as a success. After all, what is sporting romance if it isn’t the traditional powerhouses faltering and the underdogs thriving against the odds?

But Morocco struggled against one of the tournament favorites France, going 3-0 down within 23 minutes, while Colombia and Jamaica both appeared to be hindered by the consequence of defeat.

But in doing just enough to beat Jamaica, Colombia became the first South American country to reach the last eight since Brazil in 2011.

After the match, Colombia coach Nelson Abadía told FIFA it was a “unique” moment for women’s soccer in Colombia and South America.

“This is the triumph of a human group that has worked hard to achieve consistency, to have a trade, character, personality … and today we played and won well,” he said.