World Cup quest starts with Norway

BOB MACKIN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:48 AM ET

Canada's quest to win soccer's Women's World Cup begins Sept. 12 against Norway in Hangzhou, China.

"I'm looking forward to that," said Canada's head coach Even Pellerud after FIFA conducted the tournament draw yesterday.

And so he should. Norwegian-born Pellerud coached Norway to its 1995 Women's World Cup victory, which included a first round 7-0 win over Canada.

"They are probably not as strong, but they are still strong," Pellerud said of his former squad.

Pellerud coached 10th-ranked Canada to a fourth place finish in 2003. The 16-team 2007 tournament runs Sept. 10-30 in five Chinese cities. Canada also meets Ghana (Sept. 15) and Australia (Sept. 19) in the first round.

Meanwhile, Vancouver's Andrea Neil was a halftime substitute Saturday for the World Stars in a 3-2 loss to China in Wuhan. Ji Ting scored the 90th minute winner.

Canada and China meet May 3 and 6 for friendlies in Hangzhou. 


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