England comeback sinks former champs

An impressive winner from Lucy Bronze helped England record one of their finest FIFA Women’s World Cup™ victories as 1995 champions Norway saw their ambitions ended despite briefly taking the lead.

There were few highlights in the opening half as the teams toiled under a hot sun in Ottawa. Nearly all the limited sights of goal were earned by Norway. Isabell Herlovsen seemed momentarily through only for goalkeeper Karen Bardsley to race out and smother.

Kristine Minde hit the side-netting from an acute angle, while Ada Hegerberg perhaps had the best chance after bustling her way onto a wayward backpass but she could only blaze straight at Bardsley with her angled shot.

Norway scored the opening goal nine minutes after the break as Solveig Gulbrandsen found the net. The No8 executed a perfect near-post header from a corner that bounced in off the underside of the crossbar for her second goal of the tournament.

However England were level just seven minutes later as captain Steph Houghton came to the rescue once again in a major tournament. And again it was a corner that brought about the goal after Houghton rose between two defenders at the back-post back and directed a header back across goal and into the net off the fame of the goal.

Suddenly England came to life. Substitutes Jill Scott and Jodie Taylor added extra impetus in attack and the pair neatly swapped passes before setting up Bronze who crashed home an impressive shot from 25 metres which tore past Ingrid Hjelmseth into the roof of the net for a worthy winner.

Karen Carney then had Hjelmseth at full stretch with a snap shot as England threatened to grab a sealer but there was to be no more scoring leaving the Three Lionesses to face hosts Canada in the last-eight.

Live Your Goals Player of the Match: Karen Bardsley (England)