Norway earn hard-fought draw with Germans
Norway equalised in the second-half to disrupt a dominant German display as the two teams settled for a 1-1 draw, leaving everything to play for in the final matches of Group B at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™.
Germany enjoyed a lion’s share of possession in the first half as Norway struggled to create any attacking chances in their final third. The Germans found themselves ahead quickly, and rather easily, after Dzsenifer Marozsan’s long range effort could not be controlled by Norway goalkeeper Ingrid Hjelmseth as Anja Mittag was at hand to tap in the rebound.
Marozsan, who missed Germany’s first match due to injury, was impressive throughout the first half as Silvia Neid’s side continued to threaten Norway’s backline, but the Scandinavians held strong. Alexandra Popp came closest to doubling Germany’s lead with a flashing header that went just went wide of the far post from ten yards.
Isabell Herlovsen nearly scored Norway’s equaliser just before the break after controlling a long ball in between two defenders, but her close-range strike was parried away by Nadine Angerer. However, it was Maren Mjelde who put Norway on level terms on the hour mark with a superb free-kick on the edge of the penalty area. Mjelde, who saw her penalty saved in Norway’s first match against Thailand, made no mistake and masterfully sent the ball curling over the wall and into the top corner, leaving Angerer with no chance.
That strike inspired the Norwegians to find a winner, which would have been a mighty shock to the top ranked team in the women’s game, but neither team could find the breakthrough they were looking for. Instead, the two teams took a point apiece, which creates several interesting possibilities in terms of two – or possibly three – teams from Group B reaching the Round of 16.
Live Your Goals Player of the Match: Dzsenifer Marozsan (GER)