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Norway,  N. Korea Score Early Victories in Women's World Cup - 2003-09-20

The Women's World Cup football (soccer) tournament has opened in the United States with four games. Norway and North Korea scored early victories in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Goalkeeper Bente Nordby returned to Norway's national team in a last minute substitution when the starter broke bones in her wrist one day earlier. Nordby turned in a shutout performance Saturday for the world number two Norwegians against France, and says she felt good in front of the net. "I think it is very fun to play again. And especially this game, I was very nervous. It was my first ordinary game back. So it was fun," she said.

Anita Rapp opened the second half with a score in the 47th minute of the Group B game. Norwegian captain Dagny Mellgren caught the French goalkeeper well out of the net and fired the second goal in the 66th minute.

In the second game involving Group A teams, North Korea blasted Nigeria, 3-0.

In Columbus (Ohio), Group C games featured Germany and Canada, with Japan facing Argentina in the second contest.

The U.S. women are the defending World Cup champions and begin play Sunday in Washington against Group A rival Sweden. Brazil and South Korea face each other in the late game. Also Sunday, Group D teams begin their tournament in Carson near Los Angeles as Australia plays Russia and China goes against Ghana.