Football Features

Key winners and losers as Norway overcome Australia on penalties to secure Women’s World Cup quarter-final place

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 23:14, 22 June 2019

Norway join Germany in the 2019 Women’s World Cup quarter-finals after needing penalties to overcome Australia.

A closely matched encounter went into extra time after Elise Kellond-Knight, with seven minutes left, stunningly cancelled out Isabell Herlovsen’s opener directly from a corner.

The extra 30 minutes proved to be equally tense with the Matildas finishing with a player less after defender Alanna Kennedy was sent off. Norway, with a numerical advantage, couldn’t profit and the game headed to spot kicks which they made count winning 4-1.

As with every game, there are of course winners and losers.

Winner: Ingrid Syrstad Engen

Cometh the hour, cometh Ingrid Hjelmseth who made amends for an earlier misjudgement. Just as it seemed Norway were cruising into the quarter-finals up stepped Elise Kellond-Knight to swing in a corner. It proved too hot to handle as the ball found its way past everyone for the equaliser. Critically the “Olimpico” — goal scored directly from a corner — could have been prevented. It’s now all but forgotten as history is written by the winners. Hjelmseth would ensure they’d go through by saving Emily Gielnik’s effort in the process.

Loser: Alanna Kennedy

Nobody wanted to be the first, not at these championships where more people are watching than ever before. Alanna Kennedy, who had a modest showing all game, drew the ire of referee Riem Hussein after 14 minutes of extra-time was played. The languid Aussie defender couldn’t keep up with Lisa-Marie Karlseng Utland and subsequently brought her down. A clear denial of a goal scoring opportunity and that meant a straight red. The first time such action had occured in France this summer.

Winner: Caroline Graham Hansen

Someone putting on an electrifying performance and standing out from the rest was Caroline Graham Hansen who across this outing peppered no fewer than 11 shots on the Australian goal. To put that into some perspective no player at this summer championship has produced more efforts in a single game. Unlucky not to score the Barcelona winger did collect the player of the match award.

Loser: Sam Kerr

Such a cruel sport. You go from being the hero to a villain. But in this case Sam Kerr was cruelly unfortunate, it could have started differently, from the onset it was clear she meant business and was unlucky not to put the Matildas in front inside the opening 30 seconds — would have been the fastest ever goal in WWC history — though she never stopped running, moving, drifting out wide constantly asking for possession it will be her skied penalty attempt that many will remember from this encounter.

Winner: Karina Saevik

No better way to repay your manager’s faith than playing an instrumental role. Karina Saevik played the final 45 minutes in Norway’s slender 2-1 win over South Korea and her subsequent display was enough to earn a start against Australia which proved to be the right decision. The moment of validation came 31 minutes into the contest when her sumptuous through ball put lethal marksman Isabell Herlovsen one v one with Lydia Williams and she did the rest.