Soccer

Norway v Australia | Round of Sixteen 2019

FIFA Women's World Cup | Stade de Nice

In a drama-filled eveing at the Stade de Nice, Norway reached the Women’s World Cup last eight for the first time since 2007. Their victory came on penalties – converting all four of their spot kicks as Sam Kerr and Emily Gielnik missed theirs for the Aussies.

“If we win, we win as a team, if we lose, we lose together. Absolutely no-one will be the scapegoat in our group. It was no more advanced than that and I really had a good feeling for our group spirit. Ingrid Engen was a bit doubtful if she wanted to do, but she decided to do it. And she went there and actually did it. It’s not her first penalty so I’m really content with how we handled all this pressure and stress.”
Martin Sjogren, Norway coach

The shootout came after Elise Kellond-Knight had equalised direct from a corner kick late on in normal time, following Isabell Herlovsen’s clinically-taken first-half opener.

“Martin just said to us that no matter what happened out there now, we do this together and it doesn’t really matter because we’d done a fantastic job so far. Really that was the point of no return because everybody just relaxed, went out there and did their job. It was this really nice feeling of confidence in the group. To be honest it looked like we hadn’t done anything other than penalties our whole life. It was really controlled and a fantastic team effort on the shootout.”
Caroline Graham Hansen, Visa Player of the Match

Alanna Kennedy received her marching orders in extra time, having pulled down Lisa-Marie Utland when the Norway forward was through on goal. England or Cameroon await in the next round for the Grasshoppers.

“I don’t know if there are any words to describe how I’m feeling but, more importantly, how the girls are feeling. That first 10-15 minutes we started really well, I think we had clear-cut chances to take the lead. What I will say is that I’m extremely proud of them and it’s been an honour to work with this group, they’re a special bunch of girls and they’ve grown ever so close to me – I’m disappointed that I couldn’t help them realise a dream that they’ve been waiting for for a long time. In the end I take full responsibility for that. I hope tomorrow they can in some way pick themselves up and carry on.”
Ante Milicic, Australia coach

Image: Kane Oosty/FIFA

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