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Brazil, Norway Complete Women's World Cup Semifinals


The semifinal round is set at the Women's World Cup football (soccer) tournament in China. VOA's Jim Stevenson reports Brazil got past Australia, 3-2, while Norway ended host China's run with a 1-0 victory.

Brazil struck early in its quarterfinal match against Australia in Tianjin. Formiga (full name is Miraildes Maciel Mota) booted a shot in the fourth minute that arced from outside the box and slipped in just under the crossbar.

Brazilian star forward Marta (Viera da Silva) successfully drilled in a penalty shot in the 23rd minute.

Australia was able to take advantage of a defensive mistake in the 36th minute when Lisa De Vanna ran past the Brazilians and easily found an open net.

Australia tied the game in the 68th minute when midfielder Lauren Colthorpe out-jumped Brazilian goalkeeper Andreia (Andreia Suntaque) and headed the ball into the net.

But the final blow came in the 75th minute when Cristiane (Cristiane Rozeira de Souza Silva) found the right upper corner of the net for Brazil.

Brazilian coach Jorge Barcellos was impressed by Australia's scoring from just a handful of shots taken in the hard fought 3-2 victory.

"Australia scored two goals as they shot [only] four times. I think Australia today moved very fast from defending to attack. I think Australia is a top team and they performed very well today," said Barcellos.

Australian coach Tom Sermanni liked the way his young team fought back, and he thinks that will help improve Australia in future competitions.

"I think we made a huge breakthrough in this tournament. We have come back after losing two goals against one of the best teams in the world. A team that has scored nine goals and not conceded any up to today," said Sermanni. "So I think we have already made a significant breakthrough."

Brazil will next travel to Hangzhou to play the heavily favored United States, which defeated England, 3-0, on Saturday. That semifinal is on Thursday.

In Wuhan, the partisan Chinese crowd was silenced in the 32nd minute when Norwegian forward Isabell Herlovsen scored. The goal was the only one of the match, and it was enough to eliminate host China.

Norway advances to play defending champion Germany on Wednesday in Tianjin. Germany earlier ousted North Korea, 3-0.

The semifinal losers will play in the third place game on September 30 in Shangahi. The semifinal winners will also play there later that day for the Women's World Cup title.

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