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Late strike spares Spain

Published: Sunday 16 November 2003, 0.56CET
Spain 2-1 Norway Henning Berg's 85th-minute own goal gives Spain the narrowest of leads.

Match statistics

SpainNorway

Goals scored2
 
1
Yellow cards1
 
3
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Sunday 16 November 2003, 0.56CET

Late strike spares Spain

Spain 2-1 Norway Henning Berg's 85th-minute own goal gives Spain the narrowest of leads.

By Graham Hunter at the Mestalla

Spain needed an own goal from Norwegian defender Henning Berg five minutes from time to secure a hard-earned 2-1 victory in the first leg of the play-off for the final tournament of UEFA EURO 2004™.

Baraja bonus
Valencia CF's Rubén Baraja was the architect of the winning goal in his home stadium, pressurising Henning Berg as he attempted to reach a pass from substitute Joaquín Sánchez and forcing the centre-back to turn the ball into his own net.

Crucial strike
Baraja came close to adding a third in the closing stages, but Norway, having performed creditably in front of a noisily patriotic crowd, have a real chance of overturning the odds in Oslo on Wednesday thanks to Steffen Iversen's vital away goal.

Squandered chances
Before the match Spain coach Iñaki Sáez had warned his team about overconfidence and their tendency to squander chances, a trait which forced them into the play-offs after automatic qualification had eluded them thanks to defeat at home by Greece. Within 15 minutes his words had proved prophetic.

Spain start brightly
Spain started the match as if they intended to swamp Norway, and had their first sight of goal in the eleventh minute, but Baraja's shot was just too high. The home side again might have taken the lead a minute later as Fernando Torres cleverly intercepted a back-pass but, with only goalkeeper Espen Johnsen to beat, the young striker dragged his chip wide.

Golden chance
Spain continued to press forward and had another golden opportunity in the 13th minute as Raúl González rounded Espen Johnsen only to see his shot cleared off the line by Henning Berg. Baraja collected the loose ball but, with the goal at his mercy, sliced his shot wide.

Shock lead
The visitors had not threatened at all, but Norway's urgent movement of Iversen and Roar Strand to support lone striker Tore André Flo suddenly paid dividends in the 14th minute. Flo and Strand competed for the ball with Iván Helguera and the latter's looping header dropped over Carlos Marchena and Carles Puyol to leave Iversen perfectly placed to drive past Iker Casillas.

Iversen again
It was his second goal in consecutive matches against Spain, the striker having also scored the only goal of the game when the two sides met in UEFA EURO 2000™, but on this occasion the lead lasted a mere six minutes. Although the shock strike silenced the capacity crowd it had the opposite effect on the Spanish players and the next few minutes were frenzied, before the home side finally broke through.

Raúl reply
José Reyes's curling right-wing free-kick was met by the head of Raúl, the striker applying the finishing touch with a deft flick. Spain might have taken the lead two minutes later, as Joseba Etxeberría's cross was met Reyes, but Espen Johnsen produced a fantastic save to keep out his volley.

Reyes resplendent
The game was becoming increasingly open, with Reyes causing constant problems for the Norwegian defence, while Baraja and David Albelda gave the centre of the Spanish midfield a calm assurance. Before half-time both Reyes and Albelda saw shots fly just wide, although Norway might have retaken the lead as Flo's diving header forced a fine save from Casillas.

Goalkeepers excel
Both goalkeepers excelled in the second half with Casillas forced into a spectacular save on the hour to keep out Martin Andresen's drive. But Espen Johnsen was the busier of the two, saving Baraja's free-kick, Puyol's drifting cross under the bar and, outstandingly, again from Reyes to keep the visitors in contention.

Last updated: 17/11/03 11.09CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2004/matches/round=1580/match=73615/postmatch/report/index.html#late+strike+spares+spain

Lineups

Spain

Spain

Norway

Norway

1
CasillasIker Casillas (GK)
1
Espen JohnsenEspen Johnsen (GK)
2
Míchel SalgadoMíchel Salgado
2
John Arne RiiseJohn Arne Riise
3
MarchenaCarlos Marchena
Yellow Card70
3
LundekvamClaus Lundekvam
Yellow Card65
4
AlbeldaDavid Albelda
4
BergHenning Berg
Yellow Card34
5
PuyolCarles Puyol
5
BasmaChrister Basma
6
Iván HelgueraIván Helguera
6
StrandRoar Strand
Substitution25
7
Raúl GonzálezRaúl González
Goal21
7
SolliJan Gunnar Solli
8
BarajaRubén Baraja
8
AndresenMartin Andresen
Substitution87
9
TorresFernando Torres
Substitution69
9
T. A. FloTore André Flo
10
ReyesJosé Antonio Reyes
Substitution78
10
Trond AndersenTrond Andersen
11
EtxeberriaJoseba Etxeberria
Substitution78
11
IversenSteffen Iversen
Goal15
Yellow Card63
Substitution78

Substitutes

13
CañizaresSantiago Cañizares (GK)
12
OlsenFrode Olsen (GK)
12
ValerónJuan Carlos Valerón
Substitution69
15
Frode JohnsenFrode Johnsen
Substitution78
14
VicenteVicente
Substitution78
16
BrattbakkHarald Brattbakk
Substitution25
17
JoaquínJoaquín
Substitution78
17
Runar BergRunar Berg
Substitution87
15
Raúl BravoRaúl Bravo
13
HangelandBrede Hangeland
16
Xabi AlonsoXabi Alonso
14
StensaasStåle Stensaas
18
LuqueAlbert Luque
18
Haavard FloHaavard Flo

Coach

José Ignacio Sáez (ESP) Nils Johan Semb (NOR)

Referee

Graham Poll (ENG)

Assistant referees

Philip Sharp (ENG), Glenn Turner (ENG)

Fourth official

Mike Dean (ENG)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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