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Norway are through to Sunday's UEFA Women's EURO 2013 final against Germany after goalkeeper Ingrid Hjelmseth rose to the occasion and ended Denmark's hopes on penalties.
A third-minute Marit Christensen goal seemed to have won it but with time running out Mariann Knudsen headed Denmark level. Despite dominating extra time, Denmark faced penalties just as they had 72 hours earlier against France, but this time Norway prevailed. The two-time champions will meet Germany for the fourth time in a final, hoping to avenge their reverses of 1989, 1991 and 2005.
Norway were unchanged from their comfortable 3-1 quarter-final defeat of Spain in Kalmar — where they played all their four previous fixtures — but the transfer to Norrkoping clearly did not affect them. Three minutes in, Ingvild Stensland took a corner from the left which swung beyond Stina Petersen and was turned in by the chest of Christensen.
Soon after, another Stensland corner gave Solveig Gulbrandsen a free header, straight at Petersen, but Denmark regrouped and Pernille Harder tested Hjelmseth with a long-range effort. Aiming for a first ever final, Denmark were anchored in midfield by Katrine Søndergaard Pedersen, winning her 210th cap and starting against Stabæk IF club-mates Hjelmseth, Toril Akerhaugen, Trine Rønning, Stensland and Caroline Hansen — one of the 36-year-old's pupils as a teacher in Oslo.
Nearly 40% of parents of girls report their daughters being inspired to take up a sport after watching professionals in action.
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