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Women's World Cup: Germany left cursing poor finishing in Norway draw

Germany only took a point from the second game of their campaign in Canada, despite turning in an impressive first-half display. The Germans' superior goal difference should see them through the group stage.

Germany 1-1 Norway

(Mittag 6' - Mjelde 61')

Germany were left ruing missed opportunities after a 1-1 draw with Norway means qualification for the knockout phases is put on hold.

A reward for arguably the best 45-minute performance of the whole competition to date, Anja Mittag scored to send Germany ahead before Maren Mjelde equalized from a free-kick on the hour mark.

Two-time champions Germany managed to dictate the first half, getting shots on target 19 times before Norway's first chance of the game on 44 minutes.

In their previous encounter, Germany ran out 10-0 winners over Ivory Coast and could set up a quarterfinal tie with France if they go through in first place in the group.

In Ottawa, Norway coach Even Pellerud deployed two fresh center-backs - Maria Thorisdottir and Marita Skammelsrud Lund - to deal with Champions League-winner and hat-trick hero from the first game, Celia Sasic.

But the pair were consumed with a flexible front-four, supported by the roaming Dzsenifer Marozsan who returned to the team after a strained ankle to make her World Cup debut.

Germany's pummeling of the Norway goal started from the first whistle. On five minutes, full-back Leonie Maier hit the target with a left-foot shot to warn the Scandinavians.

And just 60 seconds later, Silvia Neid's side took the lead when Marozsan strolled through the center, striking a shot at goal only for the rebound to fall to Malmö striker Mittag, who notched up her fourth of the tournament.

The Germans were in complete control of the first half, and there was even room for Marozsan to improvise, pirouetting with some confidence despite facing a one-v-four situation.

From the right-hand side, Maier and Simone Laudehr were providing a constant supply of dangerous crosses that unsettled the Norwegian defense. On 28 minutes, Alexandra Popp headed wide from 10 yards out having shifted in from the left flank.

But before the teams went in for the break, Norway were able to offer some warning shots of their own. Isabell Herlovsen controlled the ball in the box after a misunderstanding in the German defense, but her right-footed shot was plucked out of the air by the veteran goalkeeper Nadine Angerer. The German keeper was busy from the resulting corner, punching the delivery on to her own crossbar.

Mjulde strikes back

Frauen Fußball WM Deutschland Norwegen

Mittag went for the acrobatic as she scored her fourth goal in two games

After the interval, Norway looked a more spirited outfit, competing robustly where they had let themselves down in the first period. Pellerud's side shaped up in a more attacking 4-3-3 formation, having played the first half with two deep banks of four and five.

And within a quarter of an hour, his side were on level terms. Herlovsen was bundled over on the edge of the box by Bartusiak, and from the resulting free-kick, Mjedle clipped the ball over the defensive wall and into the top corner.

In contrast to the first-half, it was Germany's turn to lose their composure. Neid's side barely forced the issue in attack with Goeßling and Marozsan consistently outnumbered while service from the wings was limited.

Germany's subs off the bench - Pauline Bremer, Sara Däbritz and Lena Lotzen - struggled to influence the flow of the game and Norway's growing assurance. Lotzen's late effort forced the Norway keeper to scramble across her line, but the DFB women remained largely toothless in the second half.

Germany's third and final group game will be against Thailand on Monday at 10:00 p.m. (CEST) in Winnipeg. Norway, meanwhile, face Ivory Coast to close their group schedule in Moncton.

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