Norway scored their 1000th international goal as they overcame Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-0 at the Ullevål Stadium in Oslo in their EURO 2004™ Group 2 qualifying encounter.
Southampton FC defender Claus Lundekvam was the man responsible for the milestone, but the goal was far from a classic, as he bundled the ball home with his stomach on seven minutes.
The opportunity came after Henning Berg headed down a John Arne Riise corner, which found its way to Lundekvam only a matter of metres out. Norway had put significant pressure on the visitors from the start, but dropped down a gear after the goal.
The game exploded back into life with Norway’s second strike. Ole Gunnar Solskjær chipped a free-kick to Riise who fired a hard, low shot into the bottom right-hand corner. Norway now had the game in a stranglehold, and upped the pressure up to half-time, winning a flurry of corners. The second half continued in the same vein, and Erik Bakke nearly added to the lead with a fine curling shot on 53 minutes.
Just one chance
Bosnia were restricted to just one good chance in the whole game. Bosnian substitute Mujcin let fly from inside the box but Norway keeper Frode Olsen, until this moment barely involved, somehow saved the ball while sitting on the ground.
Solskjær had a fantastic volley cleared eight minutes later, and spurned a further chance in the closing stages. John Carew also went close at the death, but the scoreline remained 2-0 – largely thanks to the heroics of the Bosnian goalkeeper.
The game ended on something of a sour note, as the referee was forced to call the game off with a minute remaining after Bosnian fans hurled fireworks on to the pitch. The match was restarted after the smoke had cleared, and Norway took their position at the top of the Group.
Icing on the cake
"This was the icing on the cake in a good week," said Norway coach Nils Johan Semb, whose side won 1-0 in Romania on Saturday. "We showed excellent spirit, denied them breaks and were very well organized."