Domanski-Lyfors' knowledge of Norway gives China edge

Sep 22, 2007 - 9:43 AM By Gary Rose Special to PA SportsTicker

WUHAN, China (Ticker) - China coach Marika Domanski-Lyfors believes her extensive knowledge of the Norway team will give her side the edge for their women's World Cup quarterfinal clash on Sunday.

Domanski-Lyfors coached Sweden for six years and led her side against the Norwegians on a number of occasions.

She took charge of the Steel Roses earlier this year, becoming the first foreign coach of the Chinese national team, and has made her mark on the squad by leading them through the group stages.

China secured their place in the final eight with two wins and one defeat in Group D while Norway is unbeaten in the tournament, winning Group C with two victories and a draw.

Although Domanski-Lyfors knows Norway will represent a tough challenge for her side, she is hoping to put her knowledge of them to good use and lead the World Cup hosts into the semifinals.

"China beat Norway 5-0 in their last World Cup meeting, but that's all in the past and the two teams have changed a lot since then," she said. "I faced Norway on numerous occasions when I was in charge of the Swedish national team. I have a very good understanding of their team, so I know what it takes to break them down."

Norway coach Bjarne Berntsen believes his side will need to improve on the performance they displayed in their final group game against Ghana, despite beating the African side 7-2, if they are to defeat China.

"It's very important that we improve for this match," he said. "Although we beat Ghana convincingly, we gave them too many chances and we cannot afford to do that in the quarter-finals.

The Norwegians have been one of the more impressive sides in the tournament so far and have one of the most dangerous players at the World Cup in Ragnhild Gulbrandsen. But Berntsen has warned his side that they must improve defensively and limit the Chinese attacks.

"China are well organized and work very hard but we are still confident in our chances," Berntsen said.

Both coaches have full squads to choose from with no injury or suspension worries.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!