Friday 23 August 2019

Norway see off Australia in penalty to set up potential quarter-final against England

Norway 1 Australia 1 - Norway win 4-1 on pens

Norway players celebrate after winning the match
Norway players celebrate after winning the match

Norway await England in the Women's World Cup quarter-finals after they beat Australia on penalties in the last 16 in Nice.

With the teams tied at 1-1 after 120 minutes, the Scandinavians dominated the shoot-out to win 4-1 and make the last eight, where they will be joined by Phil Neville's Lionesses if they can beat Cameroon on Sunday.

Isabell Herlovsen had put Norway ahead in the first half, before Elise Kellond-Knight's late leveller sent it to extra time.

The Matildas had to battle on with 10 players after Alanna Kennedy was shown a straight red card, but Norway were too clinical from the spot.

Sam Kerr blazed her penalty high and wide and Emily Gielnik's effort was saved by Ingrid Hjelmseth, allowing Ingrid Engen to send the Norwegians through.

For a long time, Herlovsen's 31st-minute opener looked like being decisive.

She gave Norway the lead when she latched on to Karina Saevik's fine defence-splitting pass to coolly slot home.

Australia thought they had a way back into the game just before half-time when referee Riem Hussein awarded a penalty for an apparent handball by Maria Thorisdottir, but the official overturned her decision in the latest round of VAR drama.

Thorisdottir leaned in towards a cross and the ball was ruled to have brushed her shoulder, much to the Australians' dismay.

Kerr had a goal disallowed and went close on several other occasions, but the Matildas' persistence eventually paid off in the 83rd minute when they levelled direct from a corner.

Kellond-Knight's low delivery to the near post evaded everyone and snuck in at the far post.

The dangerous Caroline Graham Hansen, by far the best player on the pitch, almost won it for Norway in time added on, but her curling effort from distance hit the post and rolled along the goalline and away to safety.

It was all Norway in the additional period as Hansen brought a wonder save out of Lydia Williams, while Vilde Boe Risa's audacious lob hit the crossbar shortly after Australia had been reduced to 10 players following Kennedy's straight red card.

The game had to be decided from the spot and Norway progressed with four from four.

PA Media

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