HANGZHOU, China -- Australia substitute Lisa De Vanna scored
in the 83rd minute to secure a 1-1 draw with Norway on Saturday in
Group C, boosting Australia's chance of qualifying for the
quarterfinals of the women's World Cup.
De Vanna's effort canceled out the 5th minute goal by Ragnhild
Australia, with four points, now needs only a draw against
Canada in the last round of Group C games to reach the
quarterfinals. Canada has three points following a 4-0 victory over
Norway, with four points, needs only a draw against
already-eliminated Ghana to advance to the last eight.
"The second half was much more difficult for us because, as
usual, Australia put on De Vanna in the second half," Norway coach
Bjarne Berntsen said. "She proved again that she is one of the
best forwards in the world at the moment.
"We are in a very, very good situation before the last group
De Vanna has played only two halves in this tournament, but her
lightning pace has made her the talk of Group C.
Blessed with five quality forwards in his squad, Australian
coach Tom Sermanni has the luxury of bringing on De Vanna against
"Lisa has been an impact player and she prefers to be that
herself. She always felt she could not play for 90 minutes,"
"She is probably in a situation now where she could play for 90
minutes, but with the team we have got, its beneficial to use her
Norway's early lead came when winger Leni Laursen Kaurin ran at
the Australian defense and slipped a pass through to Gulbrandsen,
who put an angled shot into the net.
Aware that a loss in this game would leave it needing to beat
Canada in the last game, Australia pushed for an equalizer by
switching to a 4-3-3 formation, with strikers De Vanna and Sarah
Walsh brought on.
The equalizer came late. Confronted by a wall of defenders, De
Vanna controlled the ball with two touches and curled a shot from
outside the area into the top right corner of the net.