Women's World Cup
July 6, 2011
Kyah Simon scores twice to lift Australia past Norway
LEVERKUSEN, Germany (AP) -- Kyah Simon scored twice Wednesday to give Australia a 2-1 win over Norway and put her team into the quarterfinals of the Women's World Cup.Elise Thorsnes gave Norway the lead in the 56th minute, but Simon tied it a minute later. Her powerful header from Kim Carroll's cross then won it in the 87th. Before 18,474 fans at the Bay Arena, neither side created any clear-cut chances before the game came to life when Thorsnes capitalized on a defensive mix-up."Sometimes things go for you and sometimes they go against you," Australia coach Tom Sermanni said. "I'm very proud of my players and very proud of their efforts and that they came back from 1-0 down to win. ... It will be a huge confidence booster for our players, not just for this tournament, but for other tournaments in future."Australia plays Sweden in the quarterfinals.Norway needed to beat Australia to advance from Group D. It's the first time the team has failed to advance from the group stage at the World Cup."We stand together and we will come back strongly," Norway coach Eli Landsem said. "They scored the goal they were supposed to score. I can only say we're not happy with the result, but we will be back."Both coaches opted for altered lineups, and it was Australia that made the better start.With Norway panicky on defense and unable to hold onto the ball, it seemed only a matter of time before the lively Simon, Lisa De Vanna or Samantha Kerr put their side ahead.The match was held up while Norway goalkeeper Ingrid Hjelmseth was treated after landing awkwardly in a tussle with Kerr. Hjelmseth was replaced at halftime by Erika Skarbo.The game came to life when a mix-up between Servet Uzunlar and Aussie keeper Melissa Barbieri allowed Thorsnes to score. Neither Australian claimed the ball from the on-rushing striker, and Thorsnes took it past the stranded Barbieri before finishing emphatically into the empty net.The celebration was cut short when Simon replied moments later. De Vanna's determination took her past two Norway defenders, and she crossed for Simon to sidefoot a shot past Skarbo.Soon after, Skarbo won a race to the ball against Kerr to prevent the Australian from scoring again. And the resurgent Australians had a number of chances to take the lead. Simon missed in the 70th when she dragged her shot to the right with only Skarbo to beat.No matter for Simon, who had the final word."I'm just loving every moment," she said.