- Associated Press - Sunday, June 21, 2015

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) - There’s no need to bring up memories of Norway’s collapse at the 2011 Women’s World Cup.

Veteran defender Trine Ronning had already erased what happened on Sunday, a day before the Norwegians prepare to face upstart England in a Round of 16 game at Ottawa.

“I don’t remember 2011,” she said, when reminded how Norway went 1-2 in Germany and failed to advance beyond the preliminary round for the first time in tournament history.

“No, just kidding,” Ronning added, breaking into a smile. “In 2011, it wasn’t quite us then. So we’re very happy to be at this stage of the tournament.”

Having dropped to 11th in the FIFA rankings, the Norwegians went 2-0-1 - including a 1-1 tie against top-ranked Germany - in the preliminary round, and an opportunity to continue restoring the proud history of a team that won the 1995 World Cup title.

Standing in their way is an English squad seeking to finally establish itself as a world power and justify being worthy of its sixth-place ranking. The Brits, who went 2-1 in the preliminary round, are making just their fourth World Cup appearance, and are in a position to win a knockout-round game for the first time.

“It’s a really important moment for us. We recognize it as a challenge,” defender Laura Bassett said. “We know what we can achieve tomorrow.”

England’s rise coincides with the arrival of coach Mark Sampson, who took over in December 2013. He replaced Hope Powell, who was fired after 15 years, and after England went 0-2-1 in the European championships.

Under Sampson, England has a 16-4-2 record.

Norway has undergone a similar transformation in Even Pellerud’s second stint as coach. He replaced Eli Landsem, whose contract was not renewed in 2011.

Sweden, under Pellerud, lost the inaugural World Cup championship game to the United States in 1991, and won it in ‘95.

“My job is about getting results, and without results I’m gone from the game,” said Pellerud, who also coached Canada, and Trinidad and Tobago. “And we are not going home without a big fight.”

Here are several things to watch out for as England and Norway meet for only the second time in World Cup play:

VERY LITTLE HISTORY: Norway beat England 2-0 in a preliminary round game en route to winning the championship in 1995.

As it turns out, Sampson’s first game as England’s coach was against Norway. The teams played to a 1-1 tie on Jan. 17, 2014.

LONG WAIT: The Norwegians have had a lengthy break between games, since closing the preliminary round with a 3-1 win over the Ivory Coast on June 15 at Moncton, New Brunswick.

The team took a few days off, which it spent at a resort in the Ottawa area, before stepping up its practice sessions over the past four days.

“We had a couple of days after we were in Moncton to do other things than football, so our brains were shut down,” Ronning said. “It’s been a lot of time to wait for a big game. But we’re ready now to beat England. And it feels good.”

England has been off since closing the preliminary round with a 2-1 win over Colombia on June 17 at Montreal.

ON THE RISE: At just 19, forward Ada Hegerberg is leading Norway with three goals. That’s upped her total to 19 goals in 38 international games since making her debut as a 16-year-old.

YOUNG VS. OLD: The 32-year-old Sampson is the third-youngest coach in the tournament, and youngest among those who advanced to the knockout round. By comparison, the 61-year-old Pellerud is the third-oldest coach in the tournament, and oldest among those who advanced to the knockout round.

ANOTHER HOT ONE: The forecast high for Monday is 83 degrees. It’ll be much warmer on the artificial turf at Landsdowne Stadium. The conditions were similar in Ottawa on Saturday, when Germany defeated Sweden in a Round of 16 game. The on-field temperature topped 100.

Stadium crews spent much of Sunday watering the pitch to soften it between practice sessions.

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