Germany, Norway advance with ease in Women’s World Cup

Winnipeg (Canada), June 16 (IANS) Germany and Norway topped Group B after easy wins and advanced into the second phase of the Women’s football World Cup here.

Germany’s second-string line-up overpowered Thailand 4-0 to wrap up the group stage with two wins and one draw on Monday, scoring 15 goals and conceding one in total, to finish first in the group, reports Xinhua.

In Moncton, Norway defeated the winless Cote d’Ivoire 3-1 to collect the same seven points as Germany, but finishing second due to the goal difference to Germany.

The two teams are the first to book berths in the pre-quarterfinals and have to wait for their opponents of next round after the group stage are concluded on Wednesday.

Resting top scorer Anja Mittag and some other starters, Germany needed 24 minutes to score the first goal of the game through Melanie Leupolz with a looping header.

The goal set the tone of the game before Lena Petermann scored two in three minutes with two headers in the 56th and 58th minute respectively, and Sara Daebritz slotted home in close range on the 73rd.

Norway needed a big win over Cote d’Ivoire to overturn Germany from the top place and Ada Hegerberg set up a good start with a six-minute goal.

But Norway fell short after that and it took Hegerberg 56 minutes to score her second goal to make it 2-0.

Five minutes later, Solveig Gulbrandsen put Norway 3-0 ahead but Ange Nguessan’s goal in the 71st minute saved Cote d’Ivoire’s dignity and Norway are settled for the second place.

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