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Norway progress after eight-goal thriller

Published: Tuesday 16 October 2012, 21.42CET
Norway 5-3 France (agg: 5-4)
Per Joar Hansen's charges survived a late French fightback to seal the Scandinavian country's first finals appearance since 1998.
by Johan Sjøberg
Norway progress after eight-goal thriller
Anders Konradssen celebrates scoring Norway's fourth ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 16 October 2012, 21.42CET

Norway progress after eight-goal thriller

Norway 5-3 France (agg: 5-4)
Per Joar Hansen's charges survived a late French fightback to seal the Scandinavian country's first finals appearance since 1998.

Norway qualified for the UEFA European Under-21 Championship for the first time since 1998 after overturning a first-leg deficit in an eight-goal thriller in Drammen.

With France holding a one-goal advantage, the hosts streaked into a 5-1 lead by the 66th minute of the second leg before two late goals from Alexandre Lacazette, who was subsequently dismissed, and Antoine Griezmann almost helped Eric Mombaerts' side steal the tie.

The French may have finished strongly, but they were rabbits in the headlights in the opening quarter. After Jo Inge Berget was brought down in the box, Harmet Singh fired in the opener from the spot, before Håvard Nielsen converted Berget's pass to double the lead. Thomas Rogne's free-kick made it three on 27 minutes, though Joshua Guilavogui stemmed the tide briefly with a neat finish moments later.

After the break Lacazette and Chris Mavinga almost put France level on aggregate, and ahead on away goals, only to be denied by Orjan Nyland Haskjold in the home goal, and when Anders Konradssen and Berget added to the scoreline it appeared Norway's progress was confirmed.

However, Lacazette pounced after Rémy Cabella's shot came back off Haskjold, and, despite France being reduced to ten men, Griezmann drilled in from inside the area to set up a tense finish. One more goal would have put the visitors through, and Per Joar Hansen's men out, but Norway held on to seal their second ever finals appearance.

Last updated: 09/05/13 11.38CET

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