Seventh heaven for Norway
© Foto-net

Norway swaggered into the quarter-finals as Group C winners after a 7-2 win over Ghana in which Ragnhild Gulbrandsen continued her scoring streak with a hat-trick.

The 30-year-old is now the China 2007 leading scorer after a treble that began with the FIFA Women's World Cup's 500th strike, this in a match that also witnessed goals from Lene Storlokken, Ane Stangeland Horpestad, Isabell Herlovsen and Lisa Klaveness.

By the time Gulbrandsen opened her account for the day, slotting home Siri Nordby's cross on 39 minutes, Lene Storlokken had long since begun the rout with a volleyed fourth-minute opener. Captain Stangeland Horpestad then stroked a superb penalty into the top right-hand corner to give the Norwegians a 3-0 half-time lead.

Three became four 11 minutes into the second half when teenage substitute Herlovsen barged her way into the box and fired left-footed past the despairing Gladys Enti. With the Ghana defence in disarray, Gulbrandsen found acres of space to head in Lene Mykjaland's cross three minutes later.

The hat-trick was then completed on 62 minutes, Gulbrandsen getting in ahead of her marker to meet Inhvild Stensland's free-kick, before Klaveness, another substitute, smashed home the seventh.

At this stage, however, the scoreline reflected extremely harshly on a Black Queens side who had contributed admirably at times, and it represented deserved consolation when captain Adjoa Bayor floated in a beautifully measured free-kick before side-footing home an 80th-minute penalty.

Player of the Match: Ragnhild Gulbrandsen (NOR)