World Cup Match Report: Norway 1-1 Australia (Pens: 4-1)

Ingrid Systad Engen hit the winning penalty as Norway beat Australia 4-1 in a shootout in Nice to reach the Women’s World Cup quarter-finals.

Norway began the game giving away too many unforced errors. The Australians attack early on with a cross-field ball from Foord which finds Raso wide right. The forward cuts into the area, playing a one-two with Sam Kerr but the highly rated striker shoots straight at the keeper.

Karina Saevik pounces on an Australian error and plays a ball through the defence for Caroline Graham Hansen but the cross deflects off an opponent before Australia clear.

Caroline Graham Hansen then turned provider, or at least tried to. She put in a low cross into the box but frustratingly there was no support in the box.

Graham Hansen goes it alone this time. She holds off a couple of Australia players to open up space for a shot but her shot goes wide.

Norway takes a deserved 1-0 lead as Karina Saevik sends a ball behind the Australian defence, putting Isabell Herlovsen through for striker to finish past the keeper.

Everything is coming through Caroline Graham Hansen at the moment, she cuts in between two defenders but her shot is deflected behind for a corner.

With half time approaching, Maria Thorisdottir attempts to chest a ball cross but the referee points to the spot and in real time you can understand why although on first review it is clear that it hit the defenders shoulder. VAR confirms it. No pen.

Sam Kerr is looking very dangerous and causing the Norwegian defence all kinds of problems.

Kerr spots the run of Caitlin Foord at the far post and crosses but Foord stabs just wide. Australia are doing all of the right things, although for me, Norway are sitting back too much and inviting the Matilda’s onto them.

The Aussie fans are cheering as Kerr puts the ball in the back of the net! The celebrations are cut short as an offside flag is correctly raised!

With six minutes left of normal time Elise Kellond-Knight scores and equaliser directly from a corner! It initially looked like it might have been bundled in although the reply shows that she whips the ball in low, with pace and it goes through the crowd into the far corner.

Australia are on top in as the ninety minutes are up. We are going into extra time.

The first half of extra time is probably the best spell of any match in the tournament so far! Vilde Risa’s 30-yard strike forces a great save from Lydia Williams.

At the other end, we’ve seen a goal-saving tackle on Kerr by Maria Thorisdottir. Norway goes up the other end and Lydia Williams does well to push over a superb Caroline Graham Hansen strike.

The game is end-to-end at this point and either side could be going into the next round.

Things are shaken up as Alanna Kennedy is given a straight red for pulling down Lisa-Marie Utland as the Norway substitute looks to be through on goal. There can’t be too many complaints there!

Norway looks to be the only side who will go on and win the game but a stubborn Matildas back line holds firm and we settle this game on penalties.

Photos from @FIFAWWC

Caroline Graham Hansen sends keeper Lydia Williams the wrong way to get Norway up and running. Chelsea target, Sam Kerr, completely misjudges her shot as it is nowhere near the goal. 

Guro Reiten makes no mistake as she drills past Williams. A brilliant save by Norway keeper Ingrid Hjelmseth keeps out substitute Emily Gielnik’s attempt.

Norway captain Maren Mjelde hits it low and hard, 3-0 to Norway. Stephanie Catley gives Australia faint hope as she sends the keeper the wrong way.

Engen wheels away in celebration after her spot kick sends Norway through! If England can overcome Cameroon tomorrow then they will not want to contest a shot out with Norway. Those were some perfect penalties! Overall, I believe that the best team won on the day.

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