Bronze winner sends England to quarter-finals
Ottawa: A stunning second-half winner from defender Lucy Bronze booked England a spot in the Women’s World Cup quarter-finals with a 2-1 win over Norway on Monday.
England, ranked sixth, had fallen behind to a 54th-minute goal for 1995 champions Norway off a Solveig Gulbrandsen header.
But second-half goals from Steph Houghton and Bronze gave England their first win in the knockout round of a Women’s World Cup.
“Bronzie was outstanding today. She recovered from a couple of errors in the first half that nearly cost us and KB (goalkeeper Karen Bardsley) came to our rescue,” said coach Mark Sampson.
England next play hosts Canada on Saturday in Vancouver.
“It’s a real sense of pride for the team, to show that character and resilience to come back from a goal down in this tournament,” said Sampson.
“We’re ready for a big quarter-final and determined to keep this journey going.”
Sampson made four changes to his starting lineup with midfielder Katie Chapman, defenders Laura Bassett, Bronze and Claire Rafferty all coming on.
But in a drab first half, Norway had the most chances, with Bardsley keeping England’s sheet clean, superbly denying Isabell Helovsen early as England struggled in the Ottawa heat.