Norway maintained their pursuit of Group 8 leaders England with a 3-1 win against ten-man Belgium. Harmet Singh, Jo Inge Berget and substitute Mushaga Bakenga got the goals in a victory that left Norway two points behind an England side whom they will face in their decisive final group match in Chesterfield on Monday.
Per Joar Hansen's team have now won all three away fixtures in their UEFA European Under-21 Championship campaign, giving them reason to believe against an England side who won 2-1 in Norway last October.
They got their noses in front after 12 minutes in Beveren. Having withstood some early Belgium pressure, Singh converted a penalty after Pietro Perdichizzi got his hand in the way of an Anders Konradssen goal attempt. Booked then, Perdichizzi earned a second yellow in the 25th minute, leaving Belgium a man down and they could have easily been further behind on the scoresheet. Valon Berisha mishit from one metre out, Vegar Hedenstad's free-kick struck a post, and Marcus Pedersen was wasteful when well-placed.
The second goal came when Berget struck on the hour, turning the ball in after Konradssen had headed a Hedenstad corner against the crossbar. Yet Belgium's ten men came back into the contest when substitute Igor Vetokele played Mitshy Batshuayi through and he finished low past Arild Østbø. There were 20 minutes remaining but Norway made their man advantage count in the end as Bakenga broke free to chip Thomas Kaminski and seal the win.
Only pride will be at stake when third-placed Belgium host Iceland on Monday; for England and Norway, though, there remains plenty to play for.
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