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Live Commentary: Norway Women 1-2 England Women - as it happened

Follow Sports Mole's live coverage of the round of 16 match between England Women and Norway Women at the Women's World Cup in Canada.
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England Women came from behind to beat Norway Women 2-1, securing a place in the quarter-finals at the Women's World Cup in Canada.

Steph Houghton and Lucy Bronze both scored in the second half to cancel out Solveig Gulbrandsen's opener.

Mark Sampson's Lionesses will face host nation Canada in the quarter-finals.

Read how all the action unfolded below.


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Good evening! England Women will be hoping that they can secure their first ever knockout stage win at a World Cup when they take on Norway in Ottawa this evening, with a place in the quarter-final at stake. The team news is already out, so let's take a look at the sides.

NORWAY STARTING XI: Hjelmseth, Lund, Mjelde, Ronning, Wold, Ims, Gulbrandsen, Mykjaland, Herlovsen, Minde, Hegerberg

ENGLAND STARTING XI: Bardsley, Rafferty, Houghton, Bassett, Bronze, Williams, Carney, Moore, Chapman, Kirby, Duggan

There are four changes for Mark Sampson, who has so far used all the players in his squad expect for the two reserve keepers. Clair Rafferty, Laura Bassett and Lucy Bronze all return in defence, giving England the same back four that played in the win over Mexico. Meanwhile Jordan Nobbs has missed time with an injury, so Katie Chapman starts in place of the midfielder.

Norway rung the changes last time out for their emphatic win over the Ivory Coast, but have switched back to what many consider their strongest lineup. There are five changes for the 1995 champions, including Maren Mjelde and Trine Ronning's return at the back, while Isabell Herlovsen returns up front, making a powerful forward three with Kristine Minde and Ada Hegerberg, who scored a brace last time out.

We already know that the winner of this match will face host nation Canada in Vancouver in the next round.

England may be ranked higher than Norway in the FIFA rankings, with the Lionesses sitting sixth, five places above this evening's opponents, but Norway have been to a major final in the last couple of years. The Norwegians were the runners-up int he 2013 Euro championship, losing 1-0 to Germany.

Ada Hegerberg is the obvious dangerwoman for Norway this evening. She's scored three times so far in this tournament. Maren Mjelde will be interesting to watch too. She's been playing as a right back in this tournament, but is normally a central midfielder for her club. She's a dead ball specialist, scoring some spectacular free kicks, which she practices with brother Erik Mjelde, who is also a professional footballer.

Fara Williams wins her 141st cap for England for this evening, extending her record as the most-capped player for the side. Karen Carney is also one of the most experienced players on the pitch tonight, and is the only England player to have scored more than once at this tournament.

PREDICTION! The players are in the tunnel ready to make their way out for kickoff. Everything points to this being a closely-fought contest, and there is the possibility of extra time if the teams are level after 90 minutes. I wouldn't rule that out, but I think England should have the strength and team ethic to sneak a 2-1 win.

The teams are on the pitch ready for kickoff, but as always the anthems are to be played before the action can start. Some of the group matches at this tournament haven't drawn in sell-put crowds, but the Lansdowne Stadium is looking fairly full, with just a few empty seats.



KICKOFF! Norway get the action underway!

Norway make their intentions clear from the start as the boot they ball out wide from Kristine Minde, but Claire Raffety is ready to block the lively striker's run and win the throw in for England.

England have also made a bright start as Fara Williams fires the ball forward for Lucy Bronze, who provides an excellent cross in from the right for Toni Duggan, but the forward's header is wide.

Norway win the first corner of the match, and quickly get a second as Williams is forced to turn it behind to stop Solveig Gulbrandsen flicking it in. At the second time of asking, Karen Bardlsey takes charge of the situation, confidently punching it well clear.

Ingrid Moe Wold catches the eye of the referee as she clatters into Carney, giving England a free kick in a promising position. It's floated in for Chapman, but the midfielder is being closely marked, and can't get her head to the ball.

Mjelde is working hard on the right-hand side of the box to get the better of Raffety before sending in a low cross, but Steph Houghton is ready to make the clearance. It's soon won back by Mjelde again though, and she launches it deep towards Hegerberg, but the England captain is there again to eventually clear the danger. Norway are testing the England defenders early on, but the back four are working well as a unit so far.

Duggan controls a high ball forward excellently, nodding it down into the path of Kirby, who is completely unmarked, but the winger lacks the confidence to take the shot on herself, allowing Ronning time to steal it back for Norway.

CHANCE! Bardsley is the first keeper to really be called into action as Norway find plenty of space with a quick counter-attack, leaving Herlovsen one-on-one with the England stopper, but Bardsley is straight out to make the save.

Norway are dominating possession at the moment and are bearing down on the England box, with Herlovsen and Moe Wold trying to create something down the left flank, but Bronze is there to halt the charge.

Moe Wold and Mykjaland play the ball through the middle before Gulbrandsen launches a deep ball towards Minde, but Bronze gets the better of her as they both jump for the ball, heading it clear.

CHANCE! Norway quickly win the ball back, with Minde charging towards the goal, but Rafferty does just enough to force her to turn her shot wide. Herlovsen has a similar opportunity moments later, but this time it's Houghton with the intervention.

Lucy Bronze is really putting in a solid performance at the back for England so far as Norway continue to play the long ball in her direction, but she's been ready every time so far, and manages to bring it out from the back after stopping an Ims run. Meanwhile, Sampson is shouting from the sideline for Williams and Chapman to provide more assistant to Toni Duggan up front.

Moore gives away the ball with a foul while challenging for a high ball in midfield, resulting in Rafferty coming under pressure on the right a few moments later as Herlovsen tries to get a cross in, but the defender does just enough to force the Norway striker to turn it behind for a goal kick. It's definitely been Norway's match so far, but England are doing enough at the back.

Herlovsen tries to muscle her way into the box again with a run down the left flank this time, but Moore and Bronze work together to make sure she doesn't get a shot away. Meanwhile, there's an injury worry for England as Duggan is on the turf holding her foot, bringing on the physio.

It doesn't look like it's anything too serious for Duggan as she walks to the sideline and laces up her boot. It's worth remembering that this tournament is being played entirely on artificial pitches, which is something that most of these players won't be used to, so it might just be that she's struggling with some unfamiliar footwear.

CHANCE! Ingrid Moe Wold gets the better of Carney with a quick move down the left, creating enough space to send in a superb cross for Hegerberg, but the in-form striker heads it just wide.

Kirby sends a long ball in for Duggan, whose first touch is poor, but she manages to win England's first corner of the game as Ronning finds herself in the in the wrong place at the wrong time, but Williams's delivery goes straight out the other side.

CHANCE! Carney wins it back for England, throwing herself around in the box to set up Chapman, but the midfielder's finish it turned behind for another corner, which ends with a high header from captain Houghton. Suddenly England have a lot more urgency going forward, and they're finding gaps in the Norwegian defence.

Minde isn't afraid to put in a physical challenge, but she tries a bit too hard to win the ball back of Carney, bundling the midfielder down around 35 yards out, which gives England a free kick that they should be able to create something from, but Fara Williams gets the delivery all wrong, blasting it well high. What a waste for the Lionesses.

Norway are applying the pressure again as half time nears, with Laura Bassett having to work hard to stop Minde getting a shot away. The striker fouls the defender though, bundling Bassett into keeper Bardsley, who initially looks a bit pained by the collision, but she quickly shakes it off.

CHANCE! A rare mistake from Lucy Bronze leaves Hegerberg through on goal. The defender thought that Carney was back, but she wasn't, leaving her shot back-pass free for the striker, but Bardsley got down low quickly to make the stop. Bronze did actually catch Hegerberg from behind while trying to recover the situation, but she stayed on her feet. Had the forward gone down, the referee would have had a decision to make, and it wouldn't have been a surprise to see a spot kick given.

England are quickly back down the other end, with Williams picking out Duggan with a long through-ball, but Trine Ronning is quicker than the striker, and gets to it first.

England have certainly looked more attacking in the last 15 minutes, with Fran Kirby making a quick run forward, forcing Ronning to concede a corner. Houghton gets up high to look for the header, but the captain just times her leap a little early, allowing Norway to make the clearance.

CHANCE! Kirby forces another corner as the first half heads into a minute of stoppage time. Williams is up to take it again, with Houghton tried to lash it in on the volley, but it's blocked, and Carney can only fire wide on the rebound.

HALF TIME: Norway Women 0-0 England Women

It's all square at the break then as Norway make a bright start to the match, but England have shown plenty of intent in the last 10 minutes before the break. Norway have certainly looked the more likely, but they haven't made the most of their openings so far.

In the opening 45 minutes, Norway had 53% of the possession, and had seven shots to England's six. Three of the Norwegian efforts were on target though, while England are yet to force a save from Ingrid Hjelmseth in the Norway goal.

Toni Duggan struggled to make her presence felt in the first half, struggling to get support up front. Fran Kirby and Karen Carney got forward more as the half progressed, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see the likes of Eni Aluko and Jill Scott, who have a bit more pace, getting the nod in the second half.

The good news for England is that they are still level, mainly thanks to some excellent performances at the back. Lucy Bronze made one massive error with a back pass, but has generally been superb, while Karen Bardsley has pulled off a couple of decent saved. As the tournament's official Twitter account points out, Norway won't win, in 90 minutes at least, if they don't make the most of their possession and chances:


Just to remind you, England have never won a world cup knockout match. However, this is the first time that the event has had a round of 16, with FIFA expanding to competition to 24 teams for this edition. Previously, the best sides from the groups have gone straight to the quarter-finals.

SUB! The players are heading back out, and there's a change for Norway as Trine Ronning heads off, with Maria Thorisdottir coming off the bench.

RESTART! England get the action back underway.

England are quick out of the blocks as Lucy Bronze charges down the right, forcing a block from Lund just moments after the restart. It looks like Sampson has been urging a more positive style from his players for the second half.

England are playing much further forward since the restart, with Claire Rafferty coming out from the back to help Duggan and Chapman bear down on the box, but the striker ends up knocking a loose ball behind without troubling the keeper.

Norway look to end England's bright start to the second half with Minde and Thorisdottir linking up down the right, resulting in Rafferty giving away a corner, but Bardsley, who was solid throughout the first half, is ready to claim it again for the Lionesses.

CHANCE! Norway are pressing forward again, but lack numbers in the box, so Solveig Gulbrandsen unleashes a curling effort from 20 yards out. She can score from that distance, although this one looked like it was going wide, but Bardsley makes sure by turning it around the post.

SUB! England make the change to defend the corner, with Jill Scott taking the place of Fran Kirby

GOAL! Norway Women 1-0 England Women (Solveig Gulbrandsen)

It's first blood to Norway as Solveig Gulbrandsen manages to break free from Claire Raffety, who was marking her for the corner, leaving her to flick it in at the far post. England insists that the ball didn't cross the line, but the referee gives it, and the replays confirm that Bardsley's efforts came after it crossed. It's a blow for Mark Sampson's ladies, but there's time for them to find the equaliser yet.

Kristine Minde wins the ball in the middle for Norway and uses her pace and power to get the 1995 winners back in England's half. She gets it back on the edge of the box, but Rafferty does just enough to stop her getting the cross in. England have lost their shape a little since letting in the goal, and risk letting in a second if they don't get organised soon.

Minde seems to be involved in everything for Norway at the moment as she spots the run of Hegerberg, who hasn't had too many sights on goal yet. The delivery is just a little ahead of the striker though, allowing Bardsley to get to it first.

GOAL! Norway Women 1-1 England Women (Steph Houghton)

England needed a moment of magic, and they've found one as captain Steph Houghton steps up to put a stunning header past Ingrid Hjelmseth to level the scores with the Lionesses first on-target effort of the night. The defender gets forward after Jill Scott had won a corner, and she rises high in the area to put in a bullet header from Fara Williams's delivery.

SUB! England are sending on some fresh legs up front, with Jodie Taylor replacing Toni Duggan, who just hasn't had the service to make an impact so far.

England look a different side following Houghton's goal as Scott make a confident run forward to send in an ambitious cross for Taylor, but the striker doesn't have time to control it.

A sloppy pass from Lund is straight at the feet of Carney, allowing England to quickly go on the counter. It eventually falls to Jill Scott in the box, but her effort it blocked. Carney wins it back in midfield and drives it towards goal from distance, but the keeper is ready. It's been all England since Houghton's equaliser.

SUB! Norway are making a second change, with Kristine Minde, who has put in quite a shift tonight, making way for Elise Thorsnes.

CHANCE! The newly-introduced Norway striker almost has an immediate impact as Hegerberg heads the ball to her teammate, but Thorsnes's first touch of the match flies well high.

CHANCE! Katie Chapman and Jill Scott are absolutely dominating the midfield at the moment, but Norway are suddenly on the attack as a loose pass allows Gulbrandsen to slide it through for the pacy Hegerberg, but Bardsley just gets her fingertips to it.

Mjelde gets forward as Norway force a corner, but she's crowded out while going for the header, leaving Thornes to slice it over from the edge of the box.

GOAL! Norway Women 1-2 England Women (Lucy Bronze)

What a breathtaking strike from Lucy Bronze to put England ahead for the first time in this match. Jill Scott and Jodie Taylor play the ball down the right, but Scott's path is block as she looks to get the shot away. Instead, she pulls it back to Bronze, who takes a touch before firing a swerving rocket of a shot from 20 yards out. Hjelmseth gets a hand to it, but the power from the defender's finish is too much for the Norway keeper.

England have been vulnerable while ahead in the group stage of this tournament, so they know that they need another if they want to cruise through the final 10 minutes. Bronze leads the charge, lobbing the ball forward to Taylor, but the striker is crowded out on the edge of the box.

CHANCE! Norway leave Karen Carney unmarked on the edge of the box, allowing Jill Scott to square it to her. She goes for a low finish into the bottom left, but Hjelmseth keeps it out.

England are less than 10 minutes from a spot in the quarter-finals now, and Carney, Chapman and Scott are still piling forward in a bid to give Mark Sampson's side a two-goal cushion. Norway's heads seem to have dropped a little since Bronze's strike. They should be urgently on the attack, but there's just no pace in their play.

England force a throw in near the corner flag, and it looks like they're just starting to look for opportunities to waste a few seconds as it quickly results in a goal kick. They win it back quickly though, with a long ball forward dropping nicely for Taylor, but Mjelde just about scrambles it away.

Norway finally seem to have realised that they need to create something now if they want to stay in this tournament, with Hegerberg sprinting into the box, but Houghton spots the threat and puts it behind for a corner.

SUB! It's a change for a Norway as Utland takes the place of Moe Wold.

CHANCE! The initial corner goes straight out the other side, but Hegerberg manages to get it back in the box, scuffing the finish just wide.

England are looking to finish on the front foot as Jodie Taylor makes a run down the right, but Thorisdottir blocks her run. Carney and Scott soon get it back, with the latter getting it to the corner flag to run down a few more seconds. England have just three minutes of stoppage time to hold on for the win.

Jill Scott has been absolutely brilliant since coming off the bench, and she gets it to Taylor, who takes it to the corner flag again. The crowd aren't happy with England's time wasting, but it's getting the job done.

Thorisdottir almost gives the ball away to Taylor, with no-one else back to stop the striker, but the defender shows incredible pace to get it back, but there's no more time left.

FULL TIME: Norway 1-2 England Women

ENGLAND ARE THROUGH TO THE LAST EIGHT!!! Excellent goal from Steph Houghton and Lucy Bronze ensure that the Lionesses come from behind to record their first ever win in a World Cup knockout match, and set up a quarter-final meeting with hosts Canada.

Norway look devastated as they head off. They were the better side for the first hour, but let their heads drop after Houghton's equaliser. Bronze's winner will get the headlines, but it was Jill Scott's second-half introduction that really inspired the turnaround.

That's all from this match, but stick around for live score updates and our match report from the USA's last-16 tie with Colombia, which gets underway in just over an hour, and join us again on Saturday night/Sunday morning to see if England can make the last four. Until then, thanks for joining me this evening. Goodbye.

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England's forward Fran Kirby reacts after scoring a goal during a Group F match at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup between England and Mexico at Moncton Stadium, New Brunswick on June 13, 2015
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