It’s Norway against defending champs Germany in Euros final
It’s Norway against defending champs Germany in Euros final avatar

It’s defending champs Germany against Norway in the Women’s Euro 2013 on Sunday after Norway survived a last minute equalizer by Denmark in regulation time to eventually win on penalty kicks.

Norway went ahead in the 3rd minute from a corner kick. (Getty images)

Norway went ahead in the 3rd minute from a corner kick. (Getty images)

The Norwegians had the perfect start, taking just three minutes to open the scoring. A corner was whipped into the heart of the six-yard box where it appeared to hit Marit Christensen and bobble into the net.

Denmark should have leveled in the 21st minute when striker Rydahl who, unable to control the ball, lashed it over the top from just seven yards out. The Danes missed another chance in the 54th minute when Knudsen, just yards from the goal-line, steered her shot wide.

Although it was only a brilliant save by the Danish keeper in the 59th minute that kept the Norwegians from extending their lead, it was the Danes who did most of the pressing, and Knudsen came close twice more before rising above the defense to tuck in the equalizer in the 88th minute.

Norway's players celebrate after winning the penalty shootout. (Getty Images)

Norway’s players celebrate after winning the penalty shootout. (Getty Images)

Denmark had progressed this far without winning a game, drawing two and losing one in the prelims, and then beating France in the quarter-finals via a penalty-shootout. Along the way the Danish keeper saved four penalty shots, two in regular play, but against Norway her luck ran out. Denmark missed their first two penalty shots while Norway tucked their four attempts away with authority to muscle their way into the final against seven-time winners Germany.

On Wednesday Germany withstood a withering assault by the hosts Sweden to hold on for a 1-0 win.

The young German team have punched above their weight. (Getty Images)

The young German team have punched above their weight. (Getty Images)

Sweden, led by former USA coach Pia Sundhage and playing in front of a hugely partisan sell-out crowd, dominated from the opening whistle and created several gilt-edged opportunities, but just couldn’t find the back of the net.

Sundhage couldn't do her magic with the Swedish team. (Getty Images)

Sundhage couldn’t do her magic with the Swedish team. (Getty Images)

Instead, in the 33rd minute Germany’s Anja Mittag’s slipped the ball through to Dzsenifer Marozsan who, under pressured, was able to roll the ball past Swedish keeper Kristin Hammarstrom.

Sweden fought back, attacking time and again and twice came close to finding the equalizer. They did get the ball past the German goalkeeper, but Lotta Schelin’s strike on the half-hour was ruled offside, and then Josefine Oqvist shot clipped the post and stayed out.

About Gavin Owen-Thomas

Gavin's a former journalist who worked in both newspapers and television media while also coaching at both youth and professional level. Born in Namibia, he grew up in South Africa before moving to England and then on to the United States, arriving in 1978. Gavin started playing as soon as he was old enough to kick a ball, and like every youngster he dreamed of playing, fame and glory. Oh, well.... But he does have a USSF A Coaching license, and took his UEFA A License in Wales. GotSoccer is a play on his initials. He launched the website in 1996, and for the first few years it was well-known for its soccer forum. In 2003 Gavin commissioned programmer Aaron Wilmoth to build a scheduling program based on a design he drew on the back of a restaurant napkin, and GotSoccer as we know it today was born.
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