Norway 0-1 Portugal
Pauleta scored the only goal of the game as UEFA EURO 2004™ hosts Portugal beat Norway in a friendly in Oslo.
This has not been the best of weeks for Norway and their coach Nils Johan Semb, having already lost a vital EURO 2004™ Group 2 qualifier on Saturday against Bosnia-Herzegovina. Portugal were also in need of a good result after Saturday's demoralising 3-0 defeat against Spain - and it was Luiz Felipe Scolari's side who started the brighter.
They were in front after nine minutes as striker Pauleta collected a delicate chipped pass from Rui Costa on the edge of the penalty area before controlling the ball and volleying superbly past Espen Johnsen in the Norway goal. Norway, meanwhile, created chances of their own and were unlucky not to be level by half-time. By then, Harald Brattbakk had had a good chance cleared by Ricardo while Steffen Iversen saw his shot bounce off the post.
The second half saw several substitutions from both sides but no more goals. Portugal came closest in the 73rd minute when Rui Costa played in Luis Boa Morte, but the Fulham FC forward saw his shot smothered by Johnsen. Portugal will now continue their preparations for the EURO 2004™ finals while Norway have to wait until 11 October to find out whether they will be involved in the play-offs to reach the tournament.
They are currently fourth in their section but still have a chance of overtaking second-placed Romania, who have played all their eight games, if they overcome Luxembourg at home. That might still not be enough, however, as Bosnia-Herzegovina will finish top if they overcome Denmark at home on the same night, leaving the Danes to secure the play-off berth on their superior head-to-head record.
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