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England win first ever Women's World Cup knockout game behind laser-beam goal

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in their history, England have won a women's World Cup knockout stage match. They've made the quarterfinals in the tournament's old format, but the new format has given them a better opportunity to clinch that milestone, and they pulled it off with a brilliant performance on Monday.

Former world champions Norway struck first with a brilliant near post set piece routine, but England fought back to earn a 2-1 victory. Stephanie Houghton scored the equalizer with a nice header of her own off a corner, but the big highlight of the game was the winner scored by right back Lucy Bronze with a stunning shot into the top corner.

Bronze isn't much of a goal-scorer -- the 23-year-old had two goals in 19 England caps going into this match -- and she said she was surprised to have scored in her post-match interview.

England put together their most complete performance of the tournament in this game, but it really turned around for them once Jill Scott came on for Fran Kirby after Solveig Gulbrandsen's goal. She didn't tally either goal or assist, but was instrumental on the moves that led to both goals and might have earned herself a starting place for the quarterfinal against Canada.

While England have done well to get this far, their quarterfinal will be a completely different beast. They'll be true visitors in front of a sold out and raucous BC Place in Vancouver. But on the evidence of this performance, they're more than good enough to give Canada a serious run for their money.