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Norway Women Top Canada


It wasn't exactly what soccer fans had in mind when they talked about more exposure for women: After Linda Medalen scored a goal in Norway's 7-1 rout of Canada, she lifted her shirt over her head.

Â"That's because the men do it,Â" said Medalen, whose goal moved her into a tie for top career scorer in Women's World Cup play. Â"I was joking to the team that only men do it. Of course, I'm crazy enough I had to do it.Â"

Fortunately for television censors, Medalen was wearing a sports bra. But her celebration was the highlight of Wednesday's lopsided game which the defending champions controlled from the kickoff with a precision attack against an inferior opponent to became the first team to qualify for the Women's World Cup quarterfinals.

Â"If we use the whole field, we can go as far as the finals,Â" said Medalen, who then wrapped up her press conference with a uniquely American cry of Â"Yee-haw!Â"

Ann Kristin Aarones had two goals and an assist, Unni Lehn scored on an elegant give-and-go, Hege Riise nailed a 19-yard free kick, Medalen and Marianne Pettersen scored off corner kicks, and Solveig Gulbrandsen netted on a fast break as Norway outshot Canada 28-7.

The result matched Brazil's 7-1 victory over Mexico on Saturday as the most lopsided of the tournament to date.

Norway, runner-up to the United States in 1991 and winner of the 1995 tournament, beat Russia 2-1 in its Group C opener. It finishes group play Saturday against Japan.

Â"Right now I'd say that Norway is a little bit more solid overall, but the U.S. team is a little bit more dynamic,Â" Canada coach Neil Turnbull said.

Canada tied Japan 1-1 in its first game, and the Canadians' hopes for advancing rest on Saturday's game against Russia.

Â"I never thought we'd lose 7-1 in the World Cup,Â" said Charmaine Hooper, who scored Canada's lone goal on her team's first shot on goal in the 31st minute. Â"I thought that was in the past.Â"

The Norwegians beat Canada 7-0 in the 1995 World Cup, and again dominated this one, easily controlling the midfield with an elegant passing attack and taking advantage of wide-open spaces on the wings left by the bunched-up Canadian defense.

In the eighth minute, Aarones got her first goal, a right-footed volley from eight yards off a chip-shot pass from Monica Knudsen. Aarones missed Norway's first game recovering from a knee injury and a virus.

Most of the game, the Canadians had trouble putting three passes together as they tried to mount an attack without leading scorer Silvana Burtini, out with a hamstring injury. Norway had no such trouble, with Aarones heading Riise's cross in the 36th minute, and Pettersen, Aarones and Lehn combining for four quick passes after a throw-in on the right wing to set up Lehn's goal in the 49th.

Riise made it 4-1 with a curling free kick around the wall in the 54th, and Medalen and Pettersen convered corner kicks in the 62nd and 76th.

Medalen's goal was her ninth in three World Cups. She also has three assists, giving her 21 points to tie her atop the World Cup career list with Michelle Akers of the United States and Heidi Mohr of Germany.

Substitute Gulbrandsen finished the scoring with a fast-break goal in the 87th minute.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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