Photo credit: Official Matildas Twitter Account (@TheMatildas)

 

The Matildas are headed home after falling to Norway in a World Cup Round of 16 penalty shootout.

With the scores locked at 1-1 after 120 minutes, the Norwegians won the shootout 4-1 to set up a meeting with either England or Cameroon in the Quarter Finals.

Samantha Kerr’s first chance came in the opening minute, flashing wide of goal and setting the agenda for an end to end encounter. Early chances were fairly even, and Caroline Graham Hansen had the most threatening of them for Norway.

It was Isabell Herlovsen who scored for Norway off a Karina Sævik through ball on the counter, putting Norway ahead just past a half hour into the match.

The Australians looked less and less of a threat in the final third as the half progressed, with play running the length of the park. Ingrid Moe Wold cracked one just wide of goal in a stretch where the Norwegians had a string of corners, piling on the pressure.

In the 42nd minute, Maria Thorisdottir was initially penalised for a handball in the box, only for a lengthy VAR review to reverse the decision.

To open the second half, Hayley Raso was on the surge fifty minutes in. The winger played a one-two with Kerr but was unable to get a clean shot off from the edge of the area. Chloe Logarzo also flicked one from out wide to Caitlin Foord, but it was past the Portland Thorns forward before she could get any kind of good touch on it.

Another Australian defensive lapse saw the Norway side drive down field but Ingrid Syrstad Engen’s shot was well high.

Kerr had her second clean shot off a corner in the 58th minute, a header comfortably grabbed by Ingrid Hjelmseth. The Chicago Red Stars forward would find the net a minute later, however the goal would be ruled out for offside.

Spraying a lot of ball proved costly for the Matildas, and as accuracy wound down along with the time, both passes and shots off target. It didn’t help that Maren Mjelde, Thorisdottir and friends were almost impenetrable in the second half. Almost.

Against the run of play, Elise Kellond-Knight found a leveller, scoring straight through a corner with eight minutes of regular time remaining. It looked like Emily Gilenik had flicked it through, but the ball sailed past everyone and into the net.

Additional time at the end of the 90 minutes passed without any more scoring, but not before Norway nearly grabbed a winner. Graham Hansen beat Lydia Williams with a shot that flew straight into the inside of the post, rolling across the face of goal and out of danger.

Extra time saw the sides trading shots, with Vilde Bøe Risa forcing a fingertip save from Williams. A heavy challenge by Lisa-Marie Utland then downed the Australian keeper briefly.

Play opened up considerably to close the first period of extra time. Controversially, Alanna Kennedy was the first player to see a straight red card in this tournament after tugging Utland’s shirt. It was reviewed by the VAR and the call stood.

After going down to ten players the Australians made some positional changes, and settled in to see out the remainder of the game.

Guro Reiten hit the side netting with a beauty as Norway tried to capitalise on their extra player in the second term of extra time. The Matildas were unable to do much on the counter, but ground out the draw to send the match to a penalty shootout.

Graham Hansen was first up for Norway and made no mistake, sending Williams the wrong way. Kerr then skied her shot, and the Norwegians increased their shootout lead when Reiten scored and Gielnik’s penalty was saved.

Mjelde’s successful spot kick meant Steph Catley needed to score to keep Australia alive. The Matildas defender held her nerve, however Engen then calmly sidefooted the ball home to send Norway through to the last eight of the tournament.

 

MATCH DETAILS

 

Norway       1 (Isabell Herlovsen 31’)
Australia     1 (Elise Kellond-Knight 83’)
Norway win 4-1 on penalties

 

Date: 22 June 2019 (FRA) / 23 June 2019 (AUS)
Venue: Stade de Nice, Nice
Kick-off: 21:00 (FRA) / 05:00 (AEST)
Broadcast: Live in Australia on SBS TV and Optus Sport

Norway Lineup:  1 Ingrid Hjelmseth, 2. Ingrid Moe Wold (Synne Skinnes Hansen 102’), 3. Maria Thorisdottir, 6. Maren Mjelde, 8. Vilde Bøe Risa, 9. Isabell Herlovsen (Lisa-Marie Utland 77’), 10. Caroline Graham Hansen, 14. Ingrid Syrstad Engen, 16. Guro Reiten, 17. Kristine Minde, 21. Karina Sævik (Frida Maanum 72’)

Yellow Cards: Kristine Minde 53’, Lisa-Marie Utland 96’, Vilde Bøe Risa 105’

Australia Lineup: 1. Lydia Williams, 6. Chloe Logarzo, 7. Steph Catley, 8. Elise Kellond-Knight (Clare Polkinghorne 94’), 9. Caitlin Foord, 10. Emily Van Egmond (Karly Roestbakken 117’), 13. Tameka Yallop, 14. Alanna Kennedy, 16. Hayley Raso (Emily Gielnik 74’), 20. Sam Kerr, 21. Ellie Carpenter (Amy Harrison 120’)

Red Card: Alanna Kennedy 104’