Salisbury dumps Canucks out of World Cup

Sep 20, 2007 - 4:44 PM CHENGDU, China (Ticker) -- A last-gasp equalizer from Australia's Cheryl Salisbury secured a 2-2 draw for the Matildas that sent Canada crashing out of the Women's World Cup on Thursday.

Australia had the upper hand going into the final Group C encounter as a draw would be enough to see it progress while Canada needed a victory to guarantee a place in the last eight.

It looked as though Canada would get the result it needed when captain Christine Sinclair struck in the 85th minute to put her side ahead, 2-1.

But Australia's Salisbury swept home in the 92nd minute to send her side into the quarterfinals.

Canada had made the ideal start when almost straight from the kickoff Sinclair headed into the path of Melissa Tancredi, who sent a dipping shot into the net.

Australia then dominated and a goal that had been coming finally arrived in the 53rd minute when Collette McCallum fired an unstoppable free-kick home.

Substitute Jodi-Ann Robinson, who had only just come off the bench, saw her header skim the post in the 70th minute as Canada tried to regain the lead. Barbieri then denied Sinclair's header as the game entered the closing stages but the Vancouver Whitecaps forward looked to have grabbed the decisive goal when she headed home with five minutes remaining.

But Australia refused to give up and snatched an equalizer in the closing minutes when Lisa De Vanna wrong-footed a defender before laying a pass for Salisbury to fire home.

The draw means Australia finish second in its group while Norway took first place after defeating already-eliminated Ghana, 7-2.

The Norwegians made the perfect start when they opened the scoring in the fourth minute through Lene Storlokke.

Despite dominating the match, Norway had to wait until the 39th minute before adding a second when Ragnhild Gulbrandsen struck. Right before halftime, Ane Stangeland Horpestad successfully converted a penalty.

The pressure on Ghana did not ease up after the break as Norway grabbed its fourth goal in the 56th minute through Isabell Herlovsen. Three minutes later Gulbrandsen notched her second on the night and then completed her hat trick in the 62nd minute.

Lise Klaveness made it 7-0 with 21 minutes remaining before Ghana grabbed two late goals through Adjoa Bayor and a penalty by Florence Okoe.

In Group D, hosts China progressed to the quarterfinals after defeating New Zealand, 2-0.

After a goalless first half China broke the deadlock in the 57th minute through Li Jie before adding a second through Xie Caixia with 11 minutes remaining.

The Steel Roses' qualification hopes depended largely on the result in the other game in Group D with China needing to better Denmark's result against Brazil.

But the Danes could not deliver under pressure and a last-minute goal from Pretinha secured a 1-0 victory for Brazil and ensured the South Americans progressed as group winners.

Brazil dominated the encounter but struggling to find a breakthrough until Pretinha latched on to a good ball in the box before firing home a neat shot.

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