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Host China eliminated from Women's World Cup
enorth.com.cn   2007-09-24 09:23


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"A fatal error committed by Chinese defender Wang Kun on Sunday gifted Norway a semi-final berth at 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup."


(Xinhua)A fatal error committed by Chinese defender Wang Kun on Sunday gifted Norway a semi-final berth at 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup.

After boasting a 7-1 advantage in shot statistics in the first 30 minutes, China conceded a goal in 32nd minute when Wang Kun lost concentration in the box, let the chasing Norway striker Isabell Herlovsen secure the ball from her control. Herlovsen shot the gift home without any hesitation.

It was the only goal in the breath-taking and the eye-catching quarter-final between China, who stood 11th on FIFA women's rankings but set a target of entering top four on home soil, and Norway, the 1995 World Cup champions and 2000 Sydney Olympic champions who placed fourth on the rankings.

Norwegian midfielder Ingvild Stensland almost added a goal in the 52nd minute when her 30-meter-long powerful shot hit the crossbar.

And Ragnhild Gulbrandsen, who was topping the World Cup scorer tally with five goals, squandered the last chance to seal the win in the last minute when her slip header to top right corner was tipped off by Chinese goalie Zhang Yanru.

The stalwart Chinese girls created more scoring chances than the Norwegians, nine against two in statistics.

In the ninth minute, Chinese new No 10 Ma Xiaoxu fired a cannon long shot which went a bit wide. On 13 minutes, Ma's partner up front Han Duan secured a pass in the box. She beat a defender but her low shot was saved by keeper Bente Nordby.

China's best scoring chance came at 23rd minute when midfielder Bi Yan thrusted into the box, secured Han Duan's timing pass and blasted a close-range shot on target, forcing Nordby to show a diving save.

Bi, the Chinese captain today, also got another brilliant chance to tie the score in the 60th minute when she drove a close-range shot high in a goalmouth melee.

Midfielder Zhang Tong's long blast in the 30th minute also made Nordby stretch.

Norway earned their first shot (and shot on target) in the 19th minute on a near-box free kick. Chinese keeper Zhang Yanru caught the ball smoothly.

China had beaten Norway 4-0 in group stage of the World Cup 1991 and 5-0 in the semi-final of the World Cup 1999. But today, the Norwegians took the revenge.

Norway will take on defending champions Germany in the semi-final in Tianjin on September 26.


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Editor: Zhang Jialu

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