England Women go in search of their first-ever World Cup knock-out win today with defender Alex Scott warning last-16 opponents Norway that the Lionesses are starting to build up a head of steam.
Mark Sampson’s side were defeated by France in their opening group match in Canada but since then have beaten both Mexico and Colombia 2-1 to progress through as runners-up to Les Bleues, and they will now look to make history when they face Norway.
No England Women’s team have ever progressed beyond the quarter-finals of the World Cup before, losing at that stage in 1995, 2007 and 2011, and with the last-16 round only being introduced this year, it means they have yet to win a knock-out match in the tournament.
Scott is hoping that will change against Norway at Ottawa’s Lansdowne Stadium, though, saying: “We want to be here until the final. That is our aim. We said that coming into the tournament, and once you’re in it, it’s not about going home. No-one wants to go home early.”
Arsenal full-back Scott also believes England are beginning to show what they can do after being edged out in their first match by the highly-fancied French.
She added: “I think we are really building momentum now. I think we are really growing into the tournament.
“We are going into the game thinking ‘we want to build on the Colombia performance and we want to progress in this tournament’.”
England are five spots ahead of 11th-placed Norway in the world rankings but Even Pellerud’s team are unbeaten so far in Canada, beating Thailand and Ivory Coast while drawing with world number ones Germany.
Norway also finished runners-up at Euro 2013.