When Ada Hegerberg announced she wouldn’t be taking to the biggest stage in women’s football this summer, Norway’s slim chances of success in France took a huge and potentially fatal hit. Winner of the first Women’s Ballon d’Or last year, the Lyon striker scored a hat-trick in the Champions League final against Barcelona, and her country was expected to really struggle without her. So far, so good, though, as they prepare for a clash with Australia in the last 16.
Both of these sides have won two of three games at the World Cup so far. Norway beat Nigeria and South Korea, but lost narrowly to France, while Australia bounced back from an opening game defeat to Italy with six points, and seven goals scored, against Brazil and Jamaica. The different styles of these sides have been evident throughout the tournament; though Norway put a rather poor Nigeria side to the sword, winning 3-0, both their other games were tight and decided by the odd goal in three. Read More