Women's World Cup 2015: England 'can hurt' Norway

By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport in Montreal
Women's World Cup on the BBC
Dates: 6 June - 5 July. Coverage: Every match live on the BBC. All games online with selected matches on BBC Two, BBC Three and Red Button. Catch-up via BBC iPlayer. Every England game on BBC Radio 5 live. Live text commentary of every England game via BBC Sport website.

England boss Mark Sampson said his team are building momentum at the right time ahead of their Women's World Cup last 16-tie against Norway on Monday.

A 2-1 win over Colombia in their final Group F game ensured England finished second to France on goal difference.

They now face a team who are five places below them at 11th in the world.external-link

"Norway drew 1-1 with the best team in the tournament [Germany], but we are playing well and have weapons to potentially hurt them," said Sampson.

England's World Cup 'weapons'
Karen Carney, midfield. The 27-year-old Birmingham City playmaker has scored twice in two games for England, leading Sampson to describe her as a wizard.
Fran Kirby, striker. In her first World Cup start against Mexico, she set England on their way with their first goal of the tournament.
Jade Moore, midfield. Carney's team-mate at Birmingham City, Moore has added energy to England's midfield since replacing Katie Chapman in the team.
Alex Greenwood, defence. At 21, she is the youngest player in the squad. Has been deadly from set-pieces and set up Carney's opener against Mexico.

"We are building a real sense of momentum emotionally and in our results and performances so we can play them confidently and look to be positive."

Although England will now face a tougher opponent than if they had won the group, finishing runners-up means they could potentially avoid double World Cup winners Germany in the last eight.

But Sampson said he was not worried about an improved route through the tournament as he aims to reach his indented target of at least the last four. England have never made it past the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

"Norway have shown they are a very good side, and from now on anything but a good England performance won't be good enough for us to get a result," he said.

"We have to raise the bar because we are going to be challenged by some great teams."

Carney 'a wizard' for England

Karen Carney, 27, opened the scoring against Colombia before a Fara Williams penalty put England in control before half-time but a late Lady Andrade goal meant that England have now conceded twice in stoppage time.

Sampson praised England forward Carney, who also scored in their last game against Mexico after coming off the bench, and said his decision to replace her after 56 minutes on Wednesday was for tactical and disciplinary reasons rather than fitness.

The Birmingham forward had been struggling with a back problem before the tournament.

Women's World Cup second-round ties
Saturday, 20 June:Germany v Sweden (21:00 BST)
China v Cameroon (00:30, Sunday)
Sunday, 21 June:Brazil v Australia (18:00)
France v South Korea (21:00)
Canada v Switzerland (00:30, Monday)
Monday, 22 June:Norway v England (22:00)
USA v Colombia (01:00, Tuesday)
Tuesday, 23 June:Japan v Netherlands (03:00, Wednesday)

The Welshman said: "We have seen from her two performances that she is sharp, she is in a great place.

"She is a wizard at times on the football pitch, she just sees things and delivers things that no-one else can imagine and we have seen that in the last two games.

"In the second half, it was a game where it was difficult to thread the ball into the pockets and we needed a more aggressive forward to secure possession in Lianne Sanderson.

"Karen was carrying a booking so it was important not to risk that situation and see the game out."

Today's sport - Thursday 18 June
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Golf: US OpenPhil Mickelson is hoping for his first US Open title after six runner-up finishes. Tee times and leaderboard.Live text commentary from 19:00 BST
Horse Racing: Royal AscotLadies' Day at Royal Ascot, which today features the Gold Cup (16:20 BST).Find out what to expect with our Ladies' Day preview and follow live results
Football: Uefa Under-21 ChampionshipEngland's U21 Euros campaign kicks off featuring Premier League stars Harry Kane, Saido Berahino and Danny Ings.Listen from 19:45 on BBC Radio 5 live and live text commentary