Led by a stingy defense — and a little help from its goal posts — Equatorial Guinea nearly pulled out a stunning draw in Wednesday’s Group D opener against Norway in Augsburg, Germany.
But the heavily favored Norwegians finally broke through in the 84th minute when Emilie Haavi scored the game’s lone goal on a cross from Leni Larsen Kaurin and Norway held on for a 1-0 victory.
Norway’s frustration mounted as the game wore on and they watched three shots smack off the goal posts. Captain Anonman had a number of quality scoring chances for Equatorial Guinea, but could not convert.
With a population of 670,000 and a FIFA world ranking of 61, the tiny West African nation is the lowest ranked country at the World Cup.
Wednesday’s second Group D matchup features five-time FIFA World Player of the Year Marta and Brazil as they take on Australia in Moenchengladbach. That game kicks off at noon. The Brazilians are a heavy favorite to advance as the top team out of the group and challenge for their first tournament title.
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