Canada slip up, but hold second place

'Caps striker Jenna Richardson scores for the Red and White

Canada came to rue missed opportunities in the first half as it fell 2-1 to Norway in the second group match of the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Japan 2012. Canada stopped a penalty kick and scored a late first-half goal, but then conceded twice in the second half in Kobe, Japan.

HIGHLIGHTS

A victory would have put Canada through to the second round, but the loss means it will have to fight again on Monday for a second chance at clinching one of two Group C spots in the quarter-final phase. Jenna Richardson scored for Canada in the 44th minute before Norway's Caroline Hansen turned provider for a pair of goals by the Hegerberg sisters in the 52nd (Ada) and 79th (Andrine) minutes.

Canada created numerous chances in the first half, but couldn't quite hit the target as they either went wide or into the arms of Norwegian goalkeeper Nora Gjoen. Both Adriana Leon and Christabel Oduro created opportunities in first 10 minutes, but the Leon pass put Richardson perhaps just a touch too tight down the left side while the Oduro cross just could not be converted by Richardson in the box.

Nearly midway through the first half, Norway thought it had its chance after referee Qin Liang called a penalty on Canada. Ada Hegerberg took the kick, but her shot to the left was stopped by Canadian goalkeeper Sabrina D'Angelo.

Moments later, Canada was back on the attack as Leon hit a shot just wide. After the half hour mark, there were more chances to come: first, Oduro came down the right and helped Canada get a shot; a few minutes later, Richardson was in alone but got one touch too many on her way in on goal.

Finally in the 44th minute, Richardson got the goal she so desired. Leon sent her in alone and Richardson made no mistake with the opportunity to make it 1-0 for the Canadians.

In the second half, the game opened up and Norway got the equaliser in the 52nd minute. Hansen beat a pair of defenders inside the box before she slipped the ball through D'Angelo's legs down the touchline. The younger Hegerberg Ada touched the ball over the line.

Hansen had another good chance 10 minutes later as she beat the Canadian defence to enter the penalty area, but her shot in the 62nd minute was stopped by D'Angelo. Fifteen minutes later, she played a pass across the top of the box for Andrine Hegerberg who then blasted a shot past D'Angelo for a 2-1 Norway lead.

Canada tried but failed to mount a comeback. Perhaps there was hope when Oduro blasted a shot from just outside the box in the 87th minute, but the shot went wide and the score remained unchanged.