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Japan beats Norway, reaches Olympic quarterfinal

Aug. 12, 2008, 10:14 a.m. (ET)

SHANGHAI, China (AP) Japan came from behind to stun Norway 5-1 Tuesday and reach the quarterfinals of the Olympic women's football competition.

Guro Knutsen scored first in the 27th minute to give already-qualified Norway a 1-0 lead, before Yukari Kinga equalized in the 31st at Shanghai Olympic Stadium.

Two minutes after Norway defender Gunhild Folstad scored in her own net, Shinobu Ohno added a third in the 51st and Homare Sawa and Ayumi Hara scored later goals for Japan.

The result means Norway finished second to the United States in Group G and Japan captured a spot in the last eight as one of the best two third-place finishers.

Olympic champion in Sydney eight years ago, Norway had to make a change in the ninth minute when Marie Knutsen received a bang on the face and head. She was replaced by her younger sister Guro.

Norway went ahead in the 27th by slicing open the Japanese midfield. Ane Stangeland Horpestad found Knutsen with a through ball which the striker controlled well and slipped past the goalkeeper. Knutsen celebrated by racing across to bench to hug her sister.

It was 1-1 four minutes later when Aya Miyama crossed from the left and Kinga arrived at the far post to meet it with a volley into the roof of the net from 5½ yards (five meters).

Japan went ahead in the 49th when Norway failed to clear a free kick and, when the ball was fed back in, defender Folstad, under pressure from Kozue Ando, sliced it into her own net.

Two minutes later Ohno's shot took a deflection and looped over the goalkeeper and in via the underside of the crossbar.

Sawa made it 4-1 in the 71st when Norway goalkeeper Erika Skarbo made a great block from Yuki Nagasato but the ball came back to the midfielder, who turned it home.

Japan caught Norway on the break in the 83rd minute and Ohno broke down the right to feed the ball inside to Hara, who scored with a low shot from 17½ yards (16 meters).