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France, Norway advance to knockouts

AFP

Paris

Norway went through to the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup on Monday after beating South Korea 2-1 with two penalties, while Wendie Renard confirmed top spot in Group A for France after downing Nigeria with a spot-kick of her own.

Caroline Graham Hansen gave Norway an early lead from the spot after Cho So-hyun was judged to have grabbed Maria Thorisdottir in the third minute, before winning the decisive second penalty shortly after the break when she was chopped down by Kang Chae-rim.

The Barcelona attacker had to watch while she received treatment on the sidelines as Isabell Herlovsen just squeezed home Norway’s second to secure the points from a nervy encounter and seal second place in Group A, despite Yeo Min-ji’s poked finish 12 minutes from time.

France meanwhile will take on one of the four best third-placed finishers following their 1-0 win, but face the prospect of tackling defending champions the USA in the quarter finals should the Americans as expected top Group F and win their subsequent last 16 tie.

The French needed a point to take first place in the group but Renard gave them all three from the spot at the second attempt, after Nigeria goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie was judged to have encroached for Renard’s first effort, which hit the post.

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