Women's World Cup

June 29, 2011

Full-time

Norway

1 - 0

Equatorial G

Group D

13:00 +00:00, June 29, 2011

Augsburg FIFA WWC Stadium, Germany

Emilie Haavi's late goal gives Norway hard-fought win

AUGSBURG, Germany -- Emilie Haavi finally broke down Equatorial Guinea's defense in the 84th minute and Norway escaped with a surprisingly close 1-0 win in its opening game at the Women's World Cup.

The heavily favored Norwegians had hit the post three times Wednesday and looked as if they were going to have to settle for a 0-0 draw before substitute Leni Larsen Kaurin broke free on the right and passed to Haavi in front of the goal.

Captain Anonman had several clear chances for Equatorial Guinea, a nation of 670,000 in West Africa with a FIFA ranking of 61, the lowest in the tournament.

"I had a feeling we could have won the game after all," Equatorial Guinea coach Marcello Frigerio said. "The country is new to all this. It is a completely new adventure."

The game could have turned as early as the second minute, but the first smooth Norway attack ended when a diagonal shot from Haavi struck the inside of the post. Lene Mykjaland also hit the post in the 55th, as did Isabell Herlovsen two minutes later.

Equatorial Guinea could have taken the lead in the 53rd when the green-braided Anonman forced a one-on-one with goalkeeper Ingrid Hjelmseth, but put the ball wide.

Norway applied more pressure in the second half, eventually resulting in Haavi's goal.

Equatorial Guinea was missing striker Jade Boho, who has been suspended over eligibility issues.

"I still think we can progress" to the quarterfinals, Frigerio said ahead of Sunday's game against Australia.

Scoring Summary

Norway Women Equatorial Guinea Women
Emilie Haavi (84')