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Agony for Australia as Norway reach World Cup quarters

Frida Maanum (L) of Norway competes with Caitlin Foord of Australia during the FIFA Women’s World Cup round of 16 match in Nice, France.
 PARIS, June 23: Germany cruised through to the quarterfinals of the women’s World Cup on Saturday while Sam Kerr was one of two Australian players to miss from the spot as Norway dumped out the Matildas on penalties.

 Norway won 4-1 in a shoot-out following a 1-1 draw in Nice in the last 16 late on Saturday, and the 1995 winners go through to a last-eight tie against England or Cameroon.

Those sides clash in the first of two matches on Sunday, just before hosts France take on Marta’s Brazil, the World Cup’s all-time leading scorer.

France and England are among the tournament favourites and will both hope to avoid the fate of Australia, who had been eager to go far but could not get the better of a Norway side who have impressed despite being without their biggest star, Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg.

Norway had taken the lead through Isabell Herlovsen in the first half, but Ante Milicic’s team forced extra time when Elise Kellond-Knight scored direct from a corner seven minutes from the end.

They survived when both Caroline Graham Hansen and Vilde Boe Risa hit the woodwork for the Norwegians, and the Matildas also had defender Alanna Kennedy sent off in the extra half-hour.

However, Kerr blazed over from Australia’s first penalty in the shoot-out before Emily Gielnik’s attempt was saved while Norway converted all of their efforts from 12 yards, with Ingrid Engen scoring the decisive one. – AFP

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