Wuhan Sports Center Stadium, China

Referee: Gyongyi Gaal | Attendance: 50000

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Norway Women

  • Isabell Herlovsen 32'

1 - 0


Norway 1-0 China: Herlovsen ends China's dream

WUHAN, China -- Isabell Herlovsen scored in the first half

with help from a defensive mistake and Norway defeated host China

1-0 Sunday to advance to the semifinals of the women's World Cup.

The athletic Norwegians controlled the midfield and outmuscled

China, which played with four forwards for most of the second half

but wasn't able to convert.

An error by right fullback Wang Kun led to Herlovsen's goal in

the 32nd minute. She was the only defender between Herlovsen and

the goal but was slow to respond, losing her footing as she tried

to knock the ball loose. Herlovsen kept control and easily finished

the shot from 10 yards.

"The game was very tight and we could manage to score because

they made a mistake in defense and our striker was very quick to

react on that," Norway coach Bjarne Berntsen said. "Sometimes

tight games are like this, they are decided on mistakes like


Norway had only eight shots in the game, compared to 21 for


Brazil defeated Australia 3-2 in the other quarterfinal Sunday

and will play No. 1-ranked United States on Thursday in Hangzhou.

Norway will play Germany on Wednesday in Tianjin with the finals

set for Sunday in Shanghai.

China opened the game aggressively, with a 12-2 edge in shots in

the first half, but rushed the attempts. Bi Yan fired a long-range

shot in the 21st minute that goalie Bente Nordby had to dive to

stop, followed by a close-range attempt a minute later that went

directly to the keeper.

The Chinese were unable to muster any dangerous shots in the

second half despite having two more forwards.

"We created chances today and we didn't score," coach Marika

Domanski-Lyfors said. "In the second half you have to change a

little bit so we played 3-3-4 and it nearly worked, but very close

and close is not good enough."

Of the four teams in the semifinals, three have won the title

before: Germany, Norway and the United States.

The loss was a huge disappointment for host China, which has

been playing in stadiums packed with boisterous fans. The capacity

crowd of 52,000 stayed until the end Sunday, waving flags and

lighting a couple of flares as China made a last-gasp offensive


Without China, attendance is likely to fall in a tournament that

has been played in many half-full venues.